04/30/2009 12:00AM

Trio meets again in stakes


Three of the top four finishers from the $100,000 Webb Snyder Stakes at Charles Town two weeks ago will clash again in the $75,000 Panhandle Handicap, the first stakes of the season at Mountaineer.

Trust or Bust came from off the pace to win the 4 1/2-furlong Snyder by a half-length over Love's Strong Heart. He faces that rival again in the five-furlong Panhandle, along with the Scott Lake-trained Place Your Bet, who rallied to finish fourth as the even-money favorite two weeks ago.

Place Your Bet is the only one among the Charles Town trio to have raced previously at Mountaineer. He won the 5 1/2-furlong Mountain State last July by 2 3/4 lengths.

The Panhandle also marks the return of 7-year-old Bernie Blue, a 12-time winner locally who finished second as the even-money favorite in this race last year.

Bernie Blue spent the winter at Tampa Bay Downs, where he went 0 for 4. He tuned up for his first start since February with four-furlong bullet move in 48.80 seconds at Tampa on April 22.