07/07/2012 2:06PM

Mountaineer: Proven locals face Ohio shippers in feature

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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.