11/02/2012 11:00AM

Mountaineer: Parker opts for It Happened Again in Mountaineer Mile

Oaklawn Park/Coady Photography
The 6-year-old It Happened Again, winner of the Grade 3 Razorback at Oaklawn Park in 2011, will make his first start since coming to the barn of Tom Amoss in Saturday night's Mountaineer Mile.

Deshawn Parker, the perennial leading rider at Mountaineer Racetrack, was named on two horses who look like serious contenders in Saturday night’s $130,000 Mountaineer Mile. He has chosen to ride Kentucky shipper It Happened Again rather than the locally based Crimson Comic.

The 6-year-old It Happened Again, winner of the Grade 3 Razorback Handicap at Oaklawn Park early in 2011, is the 124-pound highweight against eight rivals in the Mountaineer Mile. He has been on the sidelines for slightly more than three months, but he merits respect coming from the Churchill Downs barn of Tom Amoss. He will be making his third start for Amoss after previously being trained by Steve Asmussen and Chris Richard for owner Maggi Moss.

It Happened Again is cross-entered Sunday for the main track only in a high-priced optional claiming event with a $58,000 purse scheduled for turf at Churchill Downs.

Over the past two years, Amoss and Parker are 10 for 29 (34 percent) as a team. In contrast, Parker is only 7 for 54 (13 percent) riding for Valerie Heller, trainer of the 7-year-old Crimson Comic.

The last time It Happened Again returned from a similar long layoff, he won last year’s Claiming Crown Jewel at Fair Grounds following a break of five months.

Crimson Comic has 2 wins and a second in his only 3 previous races over Mountaineer’s main track, including a win in the 2010 Memorial Day over a muddy surface. He prepped for the Mountaineer Mile by finishing second with Parker aboard in a one-mile allowance Oct. 13.

The sharpest horse in the field is Power of Titus, who must overcome post 9. He has won three in a row, including a pair of restricted stakes in Michigan at Mount Pleasant Meadows. His 3 1/4-length score over Crimson Comic snapped a 0-for-12 skid at Mountaineer.

Parent’s Honor could be dangerous switching distances while making his second start off the claim for trainer Mike Maker. The only time in his 17-race career that he raced a mile, Parent’s Honor won by nearly four lengths at Parx Racing. Maker, based in Kentucky, owns a 12-for-48 record (25 percent) shipping into Mountaineer the past five years.