09/03/2004 11:00PM

Still going strong at 8


Maysville Slew is an 8-year-old gelding who will spot his rivals between 5 and 13 pounds on Monday as the 122-pound highweight in the $125,000 Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. Memorial Breeders' Cup at Remington Park.

The weight spread is imposing, but it's also a compliment to Maysville Slew, who is in the midst of a revival at an advanced racing age. He became a millionaire just two races back, when he captured the biggest purse of his career in the $200,000 Dallas Turf Cup.

And for an encore, Maysville Slew returned in his next start to capture the allowance prep for the DeBartolo on Aug. 14. The win was his 17th from 65 career starts.

"I'm just amazed at him," said C.R. Trout, who owns and trains Maysville Slew.

Maysville Slew has always been a consistent performer, but this spring at Oaklawn he finished off the board in a handful of his races. And just as it started to look like his age might be catching up with him, he put together a banner summer at Lone Star Park. Maysville Slew won an allowance there, as well as the Dallas Turf Cup.

That stakes came over 1 1/8 miles, the same as the DeBartolo, which is the richest turf race of the meet. Others in the eight-horse field include Waupaca, who is 6 for 10 on turf; Major Rhythm, an Arlington shipper to be ridden by Earlie Fires; and Honorable Pic, a front-runner who was also entered in the $50,000 Sport City on Sunday at Louisiana Downs.

The presence of Honorable Pic would be a boon for Maysville Slew, because he will need pace to chase to set up his late run. Honorable Pic was a wire-to-wire winner of the $40,000 Chick Lang Jr. Memorial last out at Retama Park, and if he starts in the DeBartolo, he will have to deal with another quality front-runner in Waupaca.

Those two could make things easy on Maysville Slew, who rallied from more than 15 lengths off the pace for a neck win over future Southern California stakes winner Star Over the Bay in the Dallas Turf Cup.

"He's got one gear, and he'll coming running as hard and as fast as he can," Trout said of Maysville Slew.

Leading rider Cliff Berry has the mount Monday.

A duel in the DeBartolo would also benefit Major Rhythm, who closed fast for third last out in the $150,000 Sea o'Erin Breeders' Cup at Arlington on Aug. 7. Major Rhythm seems to have stepped up his game since adding blinkers five starts back. Among his victories since then are two optional claimers at Arlington.

Edward Beam trains Major Rhythm for James Messino.