07/01/2009 11:00PM

Trust or Bust goes for sixth in a row


Trust or Bust began 2009 running for a $35,000 claiming tag on New Year's Day. At that point, he had crossed the finish line first just once in his career while racing in Florida and Maryland.

Since switching to the West Virginia circuit in early April and concentrating on short sprints, however, the 4-year-old Trust or Bust has been unbeatable.

Wheeling back just two weeks after winning the $250,000 Charles Town Invitational Dash, Trust or Bust goes for his sixth straight victory in Saturday's $75,000 Dale Baird Memorial Stakes at Mountaineer Racetrack.

The 5 1/2-furlong Baird (race 9), formerly known as the Mountain State, was renamed to honor Dale Baird, racing's winningest trainer with 9,445 victories before he died in a car accident in December 2007. The race caps a stakes tripleheader on a rare daytime card that begins at 2 p.m. Eastern.

Now in the barn of Paul McClelland, Trust or Bust has raced exclusively at 4 1/2 and five furlongs during his winning streak, which includes a wire-to-wire 3 1/4-length score in the Panhandle Handicap in his lone previous visit to Mountaineer on May 2.

As the 124-pound highweight in a field of 10 older sprinters, Trust or Bust will be spotting 15 pounds to his most dangerous rival, the Kentucky-based 4-year-old Rich Hero.

In two previous road trips to Mountaineer from his Churchill Downs base, Rich Hero won a pair of allowance sprints by a combined margin of 12 lengths, and was never headed in either race. His trainer, Tom Amoss, has gone 6 for 10 shipping into Mountaineer this season.

The field also includes Thanks Dubya, who romped by 21 lengths and earned a career-best 106 Beyer Speed Figure in his lone start at Mountaineer back in February; the Turfway Park-based Danny, who owns a 3-for-3 record locally; and Blind River Fox, a stalker who finished a nose behind Thanks Dubya two starts ago.

It would be a nice storyline if Wise Answer were to win. A 2-year-old star at Calder two years ago, Wise Answer will be making his first start for trainer J. Michael Baird, Dale Baird's nephew.

Clement, Pletcher ship in for stakes

Nationally prominent trainers Christophe Clement and Todd Pletcher will try to duplicate their earlier stakes success shipping into Mountaineer when they bring back Lindelaan and Blues Street for a pair of $75,000 stakes at one mile on the turf.

Lindelaan, winner of the one-mile Decoration Day Handicap on May 25 for Clement, will try to improve to 3 for 3 since arriving in the United States when she heads a field of 11 fillies and mares in the Firecracker (race 7).

Her rivals include Si Si Mon Amie, who won last year's Firecracker by six lengths, and Beautiful Venue, who was second in the Decoration Day, beaten a half-length by Lindelaan and finishing a head ahead of Si Si Mon Amie.

Si Si Mon Amie and Beautiful Venue both were assigned 109 pounds, 12 fewer than Lindelaan. It represents a weight shift of nine pounds in favor of Si Si Mon Amie and 11 pounds in favor of Beautiful Venue since they last met Lindelaan.

Blues Street, who rallied from seventh to win Mountaineer's Memorial Day Handicap by 2 1/2 lengths, will be favored to make it three wins in a row when he takes on 11 males in the Independence Day (race 8).

Viable alternatives to Blues Street include Timeless Fashion, a synthetic-track specialist who ran well on grass twice last fall in Kentucky; Canadian shipper Ghost Hour, runner-up to Blues Street in the Memorial Day; Rahystrada, an easy winner last time out at Indiana Downs; and Hold the Salt, winner of the $100,000 Kentucky Cup Turf Dash last September at Kentucky Downs.