05/18/2005 11:00PM

Mountaineer: Sprint rematch

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Two fast sprinters who were separated by a half-length in Mountaineer's first stakes of the season two weeks ago are rematched in the $75,000 Waterford Park Handicap at six furlongs.

In the five-furlong Panhandle on May 7, the 3-year-old Bernie Blue, facing older horses for the first time, overtook 4-5 favorite Danieltown in the stretch to win for the fifth time in six career starts. Bernie Blue's winning Beyer of 102 represented a 24-point improvement upon his previous career best.

Danieltown, a two-time handicap winner at Turfway Park earlier this season, is likely to face pressure for the early lead from Beat the Traffic, a front-runner based at Suffolk Downs who has not raced since September.

The anticipated hot pace could provide an ideal setup for deep closer Super Fuse, who picked up small pieces of the purse in the Grade 3 Toboggan Handicap at Aqueduct in March and the Grade 3 Phoenix Breeders' Cup at Keeneland last fall. A 5-year-old, Super Fuse, who will be making his first start for high-percentage trainer Chris Englehart, is only 1 for 16 the past two seasons.

The value play might be the 4-year-old Bubba Gum, who has not been less than 11-1 in four starts this year against allowance types at Oaklawn Park, Keeneland, and Churchill Downs. A stalker, Bubba Gum shows Beyers of 94 and 96 in two of his last three starts and could be perfectly positioned under Dana Whitney to get first run if the early pacesetters falter.