10/15/2006 11:00PM

Oh So Awesome may relish return to turf


LEXINGTON, Ky. - The lack of a stakes race Wednesday at Keeneland might lead a racing fan to infer that the nine-race program will be subpar, but to each his own. The nominal feature is a mere first-level allowance, but because it drew an overflow field and will be run at the thrice-around distance of 1 1/2 miles on the turf, some fans might say another fun afternoon is on tap.

The $52,000 feature looks very well matched, with the Team Valor colt, Oh So Awesome, possibly deserving of slight favoritism despite having gone winless since he was brought over from France this spring. Now trained by John Kimmel, Oh So Awesome showed promise racing exclusively on grass overseas, but all five of his starts in the United States have come on dirt or Polytrack. Surely some horseplayers will believe that the return to turf, along with the longer distance, might be his keys to victory Wednesday.

Other chief threats in the eighth of nine Wednesday races include More Fascination, whose three-back victory at the Churchill Downs spring meet was eye-catching; Talent Scout, who gets the meet's leading rider, Rafael Bejarano, as he returns to grass, which seems to be his best surface; and Bee Charmer, an Irish import making his North American debut for trainer Michael Matz, of Barbaro fame.

In all, 12 are entered, although only as many as 10 can start.

Perhaps the most intriguing outsider is Transduction Gold, who won his last start at a $70 mutuel. The 3-year-old gelding was bred and is owned and trained by Dr. John Glenney, who nearly 10 years ago retired to the horse business in Lexington after making a fortune as a biochemist. Transduction is the conveyance of energy from one electron to another - although, as Glenney has tried to convey cleverly with the naming of this particular horse, to do so in attempting to manufacture synthetic gold has proven virtually impossible.

Interestingly, Glenney shows a positive return on investment this year, with a $2 win wager on every starter equating to a $2.08 return. Of course, with Transduction Gold being his lone winner from 34 starters, a bettor had to be paying strict attention on Sept. 2, when he won at Del Mar.

After Wednesday, a stakes race will anchor every card here for the rest of the week. Coming features are the $100,000 Franklin County on Thursday, the $125,000 Valley View on Friday, the $300,000 Raven Run on Saturday, and the $150,000 Dowager on Sunday.