11/07/2012 3:10PM

Remington Park: The Drifter tries to stretch his speed seven furlongs

Dustin Orona Photography
The Drifter is the most proven horse in the Clever Trevor but the seven-furlong distance may test his stamina.

The Drifter is a standout on paper in Friday night’s $100,000 Clever Trevor for 2-year-olds at Remington Park. He is a multiple stakes winner. He owns the field’s best collection of Beyer Speed Figures. And he has more natural speed than most of his rivals.

But the seven-furlong distance of the Clever Trevor could be a challenge for The Drifter. The race will be his first beyond six furlongs, and there is a significant pace rival drawn to his immediate outside in King Henny.

The horses are part of a nine-horse field for the Clever Trevor, which serves as a stepping-stone to the $300,000 Springboard Mile at Remington on Dec. 9. But that two-turn race has never been a focal point for The Drifter. His trainer, Cody Autrey, has said that a year-end option could instead be the $75,000 Texas Stallion Stakes at Retama Park.

The Drifter’s first stakes win came in another division of the Texas Stallion Stakes that was run at Lone Star Park on July 7. He rolled to a seven-length win in the 5 1/2-furlong sprint and earned a career-high Beyer of 84. The Drifter’s latest stakes win came at Remington, in the $75,000 Kip Deville on Sept. 28.

The Drifter dueled and moved on to a 1 1/4-length win, and the Beyer of 79 that he earned is the best last-race number in the Clever Trevor. The Drifter has a chance to steal away again, but could be dogged by King Henny, a wire-to-wire maiden winner last out at Hoosier.

The Drifter is by the unraced stallion Seeking a Home, while his dam, Lady Radkey, was a four-time sprint stakes winner. The Drifter will break from post 8, with Cliff Berry aboard for owner Charles Fletcher.

Best of Birdstone, who rallied from next to last to win in his maiden in the $50,000 Razorback Futurity at Louisiana Downs on Sept. 22, is the chief threat. His last race was at six furlongs, and he gets pedigree support for the added distance Friday night as a son of Belmont Stakes winner Birdstone.

Best of Birdstone, bred in Arkansas by his owner, Richard P. Hogue Jr., earned a Beyer of 72 for his win at Louisiana Downs. Luis Quinonez has the mount for trainer Donnie Von Hemel.

Others in the field include Backstreet Hero, a half-brother to Grade 3 winner Majestic Hero.