10/11/2003 12:00AM

Tour of the Hive fits perfectly


Trainer Miguel Feliciano runs most of his horses at Thistledown. But when he ships horses to Mountaineer Race Track, they are usually well-meant.

Of nearly 300 horses Feliciano has started this season, only 37 of them have run at Mountaineer. But 18 of them have hit the board.

Felicianio has sent Tour the Hive, a 6-year-old gelding with 13 lifetime wins and earnings of $429,087, to Mountaineer three times this season. That just happens to make Tour the Hive eligible for Tuesday night's $75,000 Mountaineer HBPA Stakes.

The six-furlong race, restricted to horses who have made at least three starts at Mountaineer this year, drew a field of nine older runners.

Two months ago, Tour the Hive appeared unlikely to qualify for the Mountaineer HBPA, a race he won last year with a 97 Beyer Speed Figure. He had made only one start at Mountaineer, a fourth-place finish in the Slipton Fell Handicap, and hadn't raced at all since late June.

But Feliciano got Tour the Hive fit in early August and ran him twice at Mountaineer, including the Labor Day Handicap, an off-the-turf mile race in which he earned a 91 Beyer.

Cutting back to six furlongs should be no problem for Tour the Hive, who is 7 for 17 at the distance.

Assuming it will take a 90-plus Beyer to win, there are three opponents with the credentials to beat Tour the Hive.

Wild Lies, claimed for $10,000 by trainer Emilie Fojan in August, had been running in route races and on turf. He responded to a switch to a sprint and a fast track by crushing first-level allowance horses by 10 1/2 lengths with a career-best 98 Beyer on Sept. 13.

One Bad Dude's last five starts have been at one mile or longer. But his record of 7 for 24 in sprints indicates he's versatile enough to shorten up.

Franchise Player, a 3-year-old who has been facing older horses since May, has won 3 of his last 4 starts, including a win at Mountaineer last time out in which he earned a career-high 92 Beyer.