11/21/2007 12:00AM

Ravalo speeds to Mountaineer upset

EmailRavalo, unbeaten in two starts over synthetic surfaces but a dud the last two times he raced on conventional dirt, rediscovered his speed to upset Tuesday night's $75,000 Sophomore Sprint Championship at Mountaineer Race Track.

Given a more aggressive ride by new jockey Dana Whitney, Ravalo ($15.60) outdueled 50-1 longshot Head Master D early to draw clear by a length at the quarter pole, then turned back 4-5 favorite Piratesonthelake in deep stretch to capture the six-furlong stakes for 3-year-olds by 2 3/4 lengths.

Piratesonthelake, winner of the Grade 3 Kentucky Cup Sprint two starts ago, nearly drew even in midstretch but Ravalo regained command at the sixteenth pole and was widening his margin at the finish while completing the distance in 1:10.60.

Piratesonthelake was three lengths clear of Bawdens, a 45-1 shot who nosed out the 30-1 El Poco Diablo for third.

Based in Maryland with trainer Donald Barr for owner Lindy Redding, Ravalo's two best previous races came in September over the Tapeta surface at Presque Isle Downs.  His only other win on a conventional dirt track came last January, when he won his maiden at Aqueduct. Most recently, Ravalo was last of eight in the six-furlong Sonny Hine at Laurel Park. Prior to that was a non-threatening fourth in a first-level allowance at Delaware Park in July.