Updated on 09/16/2011 8:27AM

Rejuvenated Mighty Beau has become a Turf Monster


Less than six months ago, Mighty Beau was losing in short dirt sprints for nonwinners-of-three lifetime at places like Charles Town and Penn National. Now he's good enough to run competitively against older horses in stakes races at Keeneland and Churchill Downs.

After experiencing only modest success sprinting on dirt, the 3-year-old Mighty Beau has blossomed since switching to the turf in April. He makes his first start for new connections in Monday's $100,000 Turf Monster Handicap, a five-furlong turf sprint at Philadelphia Park, in Bensalem, PA.

Previously owned by George Brennan and trained by William Lull, Mighty Beau was privately purchased by trainer Randy Morse for owner Mike Cloonan after finishing fourth, beaten just two lengths, in the Grade 3, $100,000 Aegon Turf Sprint at Churchill on May 3.

In his only other start on grass, Mighty Beau finished a head behind another Morse-trained runner, Morluc, in the $85,000 Shakertown at Keeneland.

The Beyer Speed Figures of 98 and 103 Mighty Beau earned in his two turf starts are a far cry from the 45 and 60 he recorded on dirt last winter at Penn National and Charles Town.

As the only 3-year-old in the Turf Monster field, Mighty Beau will carry 111 pounds, 12 less than highweight and probable favorite Texas Glitter.

Texas Glitter, a 6-year-old with more than $581,000 in earnings, has been involved in photo finishes in his only two starts this year, missing by a head in the Aegon Turf Sprint and winning by the same margin in the Yankee Affair at Gulfstream Park.

Joe's Son Joey, the horse Texas Glitter barely beat in Florida, ran a huge race off a six-month layoff when cutting back from routes to five furlongs in the Yankee Affair.

Among the locally based horses, the most intriguing are the Gaston Sandoval-trained entry of Rudirudy and Sport D'hiver.

The 7-year-old Rudirudy came close to winning two stakes races in a span of three days last summer, romping in the slop at Monmouth Park and missing by a half-length on the turf at Delaware Park. He showed little in his first start this year, on dirt, but has since prepped with a sharp four-furlong work of 46.20 seconds from the gate.

Sport D'hiver, a 10-year-old gelding with 17 lifetime wins and more than $410,000 in earnings, is a five-furlong turf specialist. He is just 2 for 18 over the past two years, however, with both wins coming against $20,000 claimers.