11/16/2011 8:32AM

Mountaineer: Lay Line Force outshines Grade 3 winner in Sophomore Sprint


Locally based Lay Line Force, whose most recent victory came 2 1/2 months ago in a nonwinners-of-three-lifetime allowance, outran recent Grade 3 winner Matthewsburg to win Tuesday night’s $75,000 Sophomore Sprint for 3-year-olds at Mountaineer Racetrack.

Racing over a sealed, muddy surface, Lay Line Force ($11) rushed up to challenge Charles Town shipper Aaron’s Way after a half-mile in 45.56 seconds, took the lead at the top of the stretch, and drew off to win by 4 3/4 lengths under Pablo Tolentino. The winning time was 1:10.49.

The 1-2 favorite Matthewsburg, winner of the Grade 3 Kentucky Cup Sprint two starts ago, broke a step slowly, lost ground when he was floated five wide turning for home, and was all out to overtake Aaron’s Way for second.

Trained by Paul McEntee for owner Thomas Young, Lay Line Force had lost his last three races by a combined margin of 19 1/2 lengths since scoring on Aug. 27 with a modest 69 Beyer Speed Figure. Overall, Lay Line Force has won 4 of 12 starts.

It was the first stakes victory for first-year trainer McEntee and the third career stakes win for jockey Tolentino, whose previous two stakes victories came in 2009 at River Downs.