05/30/2006 12:00AM

Mountaineer: Lady Grace still tough

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Lady Grace reaffirmed her status as the top older female turf runner at Mountaineer Race Track when she returned from a nearly nine-month layoff to capture the $75,000 Decoration Day Handicap.

Racing for the first time since Sept. 5, the 8-year-old Lady Grace ($7.60) edged clear entering the turn for home in the one-mile race, opened up by two lengths, and held off Solid Platinum by a half-length for her 12th win in 28 starts on grass. Nine of those victories have come at Mountaineer.

Ridden by Rex Stokes III for owner-trainer Loren Cox, Lady Grace was timed in 1:35.37.

* In the co-featured $75,000 Memorial Day Handicap, Solo Cat ($13.60) overtook Touched by Madness in deep stretch en route to a 1 3/4-length victory.

Winning for only the second time in 16 starts on grass, the 6-year-old Solo Cat, ridden by Oswald Pereira for trainer Byron Hughes, covered the mile in 1:33.46.