07/07/2012 2:06PM

Mountaineer: Proven locals face Ohio shippers in feature


Awe Hush and Bringingdown Babel, who have combined to win 10 of 14 starts at Mountaineer Racetrack over the past two seasons, will face off against a pair of multiple stakes winners from Ohio in a highly competitive no-conditions allowance Tuesday night.

The six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares, which carries a $33,700 purse, goes as race 9 on a 10-race card that begins at 7 p.m. Eastern.

Although the 4-year-old Awe Hush and the 5-year-old Bringingdown Babel have competed often at the West Virginia oval, Tuesday’s feaure will be just their second head-to-head confrontation. On April 23, Awe Hush scored a front-running 1  1/2-length win over Bringingdown Babel while earning a career-best 85 Beyer Speed Figure.

Both horses carried 120 pounds in their first meeting, but because Bringingdown Babel has won twice since then, including her two most recent starts with a pair of 89 Beyer Figures, she must concede three pounds to Awe Hush in the rematch as the co-highweight at 123 pounds.

Bringingdown Babel, trained by Genaro Garcia, most recently beat four rivals going 5 1/2 furlongs on June 22. Garcia is 11 for 34 (32 percent) with last-out winners returning in 21 days or less. That stat includes 2 wins and a second in 3 starts by Bringingdown Babel.

The two horses-for-courses will face challenges from the 8-year-old Pay the Man and the 3-year-old Motega, both successful in Ohio restricted stakes.

Pay the Man won 6 of 8 starts in 2011, including five consecutive stakes at distances ranging from six furlongs to 1 1/8 miles. She will be cutting back to a sprint after another stakes win going 1 1/16 miles at Thistledown on June 16. The distance switch should be no problem, since Pay the Man successfully switched from 1 1/8 miles to win last fall’s six-furlong Scarlet and Gray at Beulah Park.

Motega began her career last summer by winning four straight races, including three stakes by a combined margin of nearly 30 lengths. So far, she hasn’t been the same filly in 2012. But she looks dangerous returning to Mountaineer, where she won her career debut by 2 3/4 lengths and has posted back-to-back bullet workouts since June  26.

The field also includes the 7-year-old Delaware Twitch, who owns a 13-for-26 record locally and has won two of her last three races, and Piskacha, a 3-year-old who was the runner-up to Bringingdown Babel last time out.