08/09/2001 11:00PM

Mr. Bigglesworth eyes repeat


Considering that none of his nine rivals have won on the turf, Mr. Bigglesworth, the defending champion in Sunday's $45,000 Buckeye Native Stakes at River Downs, has a better than average chance of winning the 1 1/16-mile turf race for Ohio-bred 3-year-olds and up.

Mr. Bigglesworth was a 3-year-old when he won last year's Buckeye Native, then followed that with a hard-fought victory in the Horizon Stakes. But Mr. Bigglesworth has failed to regain that form, finishing out of the money in seven of his next eight starts. Rested since running last in the Gendelman Memorial June 24, Mr. Bigglesworth figures more prominently in the Buckeye Native, if for no other reason than it is restricted to horses who are sired by a stallion standing in Ohio.

The second- and third-place finishers in the 2000 Buckeye Native, Brother Darcy and In Contempt, figure to have a better chance this year because both are in better form than Mr. Bigglesworth. Brother Darcy missed winning by a head last year with In Contempt two lengths further back. In Contempt had a useful prep for the Buckeye Native when third in a $4,500 claimer on the Mountaineer turf July 28.

Knight Villain, the highest earner in the field with more than $230,000 in earnings, has been in fine form recently and earned a check in his only start on turf. Blazing Wind, a descendant of Danzig, might appreciate the switch to turf, and is also worth a look.

o The $20,000 Bassinet Prep for 2-year-old fillies at 6 furlongs will also be run Sunday, and the Bernie Flint-trained entry of Crack the Books and Typhoon Bertie will be prohibitive favorites.