06/15/2009 12:00AM

Sky Mom switches back to dirt at Mountaineer


As a 3-year-old racing for trainer Steve Asmussen last season, Sky Mom was versatile enough to win stakes at three different tracks, including the Grade 3 Arlington Oaks on Polytrack.


In three starts since coming to Albert Stall Jr.'s barn, however, Sky Mom hasn't finished better than fifth, although two of her defeats came against graded stakes company.

Sky Mom faces softer company and returns to dirt for Tuesday night's $75,000 Golden Sylvia Handicap at Mountaineer Racetrack.

The one-mile race drew a field of six fillies and mares, and goes as race 9 on a 10-race card.

Sky Mom, who will be ridden for the first time by Mario Pino, won three times on dirt last season, including the $200,000 WinStar Oaks at Sunland Park, and was a close second in the Grade 3 Iowa Oaks at Prairie Meadows.

Stall shows a good record of 5 for 21 (24 percent) with horses coming back in less than 30 days while switching from a synthetic surface to dirt.

Sky Mom should get sufficient pace to set up her rally, thanks to the presence of defending champion Adhrhythm and dominant Michigan-bred Valley Loot.

Adhrhythm is also returning to dirt after three consecutive good efforts over the Tapeta at Presque Isle Downs. The last time she made a similar surface switch, however, Adhrhythm finished only third while sprinting in the Dream Supreme at Churchill Downs.

Valley Loot, a 5-year-old mare with an 11-for-19 career record, primarily has beaten Michigan-breds, winning six restricted stakes at Great Lakes Downs and Pinnacle Race Course since July 2007. She has been fourth against open company in her first two starts this year.

One intriguing wake-up possibility is Laguna Plateada. Two years ago, she was a Group 1 winner in her native Chile. She is winless in eight starts since coming to the United States, primarily racing on turf and synthetic surfaces. Her best race in the U.S. came when she finished second in a second-level allowance on dirt last November at Churchill Downs.

Donna Loot, who gets a 15-pound weight concession from 122-pound highweight Sky Mom as the lone 3-year-old in the field, returns to Mountaineer, where she is 2 for 2.