09/01/2006 11:00PM

Mountaineer: Well-traveled duo meet


Tiganello and Bestowed have probably passed each other on airplanes or horse vans on their many travels this year, but they will meet on the racetrack for the first time in the $75,000 Labor Day at Mountaineer Park.

Few horses have racked up the frequent flier miles this year that Tiganello and Bestowed have. Tiganello, especially, has seen the sights North America has to offer, having raced at Keeneland, Delaware, Woodbine, and Saratoga in his four starts this year. Owned by the Wertheimer brothers and trained by Todd Pletcher, Tiganello, 5, raced in Europe up until this year.

Tiganello's only North American victory came in his last start, a rallying neck score over Old Forester and Quest Star in a Saratoga optional claimer at the Labor Day conditions of one mile on turf. Either of the horses he beat that day would be a legitimate favorite in this race, and the late run he showed should stand him well in a race filled with pace.

Bestowed, owned by Gallaghers Stud and trained by Michael Dickinson, also does his best running in the final furlongs. He has made three starts this year - at Belmont, Colonial, and Monmouth - with his one victory coming in the Da Hoss at Colonial. He comes off a fifth-place finish in the Grade 3 Oceanport at Monmouth in a much tougher field than Monday's, beaten 5 1/4 lengths by the multiple graded stakes winner Three Valleys.

Ten others are scheduled to run in the Labor Day, including speedsters Yucatan and Cherokee Prince, and West Virginia Speakers Cup winner Legal Control.

* Pletcher and the Wertheimers have another well-traveled top contender in the day's other stakes at Mountaineer, the $75,000 Summer Finale for female turf runners going a mile. Stormina has raced in New York, Kentucky, Florida, and West Virginia this year, and in her only start at Mountaineer, she won the Firecracker on July 3. In her only race since, she finished fourth in the De La Rose at Saratoga.

In the Firecracker, Stormina caught Lady Grace in the final strides, and Lady Grace is back to try her again Monday. She comes off a 2 1/2-length score in a Mountaineer allowance July 18.