11/05/2009 12:00AM

Researcher set for Mile repeat


So far, Researcher's fall campaign looks a lot like last year's. Unlike most sequels, that's a good thing.

In 2008, Researcher dominated the HBPA Governor's Cup at his home track, Charles Town, by 14 3/4 lengths, and followed up by taking the Mountaineer Mile Handicap.

Saturday night, making his first start since a near-identical 14 1/4-length romp in the Governor's Cup, Researcher will be a solid favorite to defend his Mountaineer Mile title when he faces 10 rivals in the $125,000 feature at Mountaineer Racetrack.

The 5-year-old Reseacher comes off a career-best 108 Beyer Speed Figure, 1 point higher than he earned for winning the $615,000 Charles Town Classic in April. All three of his wins this year have been worth triple-digit Beyers, matching his string of three consecutive 100-plus Beyers he put together in the 2008 Governor's Cup, Mountaineer Mile, and Grade 3 Queens County Handicap at Aqueduct.

In contrast, no other horse in the Mountaineer Mile lineup has produced even a single triple-digit Beyer this season, though the 3-year-old War Fighter and locally based 5-year-old Cryptolight came close in their most recent starts.

War Fighter got a 99 for his second in the Ohio Derby. He was cross-entered in Friday night's Grade 3 Pegasus at the Meadowlands.

Cryptolight was awarded a 98 - the highest of his 34-race career - for winning the nine-furlong Fall Stakes a month ago. He has been first or second in 8 of 11 starts on Mountaineer's main track.

The field also includes the unbeaten Congressional Page, a lightly raced 4-year-old who improved his record to 5 for 5 by winning his stakes debut in the Schaefer Mile at Hoosier last month.