08/02/2007 11:00PM

Mystery Classic likely favored


Mystery Classic will be shooting for his second straight stakes win Sunday when he starts as the probable favorite in the $50,000 Brother Brown at Remington Park. His chief rival in the five-furlong turf sprint is Express News.

Mystery Classic will be making his third start off a layoff. He ran one of the best races of his career last out, when he came from off the pace for a 1 3/4-length win in the $50,000 Lone Star Sprint on July 4. Scheduled for turf, the race was run over a muddy main track. Mystery Classic ran five furlongs in 56.60 seconds to earn a Beyer Figure of 97.

"This is going to be his third race back, and by rights he should be a little bit better this time than he was the last time," said Bob Schultz, who trains Mystery Classic. "I don't see how he could be, but he should be. He ran awful good the other day. I don't see how you can improve much more."

Schultz said Mystery Classic has done well since, and he has been flattered by Orphan Brigade, the runner-up in the Lone Star Sprint who came back in his next start with a powerful allowance score. Schultz has given the mount to Eddie Martin Jr.

Express News returns to turf following a sharp third-place finish in the $50,000 Temperence Hill on the Louisiana Downs main track on June 23.

"That last race was a tremendous effort," said Bret Calhoun, who trains Express News. "It was just unfortunate that he got beat. I mean, it was a dogfight. He got beat in a three-horse photo to Venomous and Wheaten Home. He was closing, and I think one more step and he's a winner. He just missed. He was wide on the turn, and I believe that was the difference between winning and losing."

Cliff Berry rides Express News, who has won on turf.