07/05/2005 12:00AM

Mountaineer: Lady Grace pulls upset


Lady Grace, a 7-year-old mare still eligible for her second allowance condition, registered the biggest victory of her career when she repelled two challenges to win the $75,000 Firecracker Stakes at Mountaineer Race Track.

Trained and owned by Loren Cox, who claimed her for $10,000 on July 4, 2004, Lady Grace ($25.80) earned a career-best 91 Beyer Speed Figure in her first stakes appearance. After taking the lead a half-mile into the race, she turned back a challenge from 2-1 favorite Beau Watch at the top of the stretch and another from eventual runner-up Modena Bay in midstretch before drawing away late under jockey Rex Stokes III.

Lady Grace, whose only only start this season was an easy win over $15,000 claimers, covered a mile on firm turf in 1:34.49.

* Gin and Sin ($5.80), ridden by Dana Whitney, collected the fifth stakes victory of his career by leading wire to wire in the co-featured Independence Day Stakes for older horses to score by 1 1/2 lengths. Gin and Sin received a 96 Beyer for his time of 1:33.96 for a mile on turf.