11/11/2004 12:00AM

Vagabond Sonic West eyes another road win


Sonic West qualifies as the ultimate road warrior this season.

Based in Kentucky with trainer Tom Van Berg, the 5-year-old Sonic West has raced at eight different tracks and six states since March. Sonic West will add Mountaineer Race Track and West Virginia to his already lengthy travel log on Saturday night when he seeks to win the $100,000 Mountaineer Mile for the second straight year.

From Arkansas to Texas to Illinois, Sonic West has run well almost everywhere this year. Competing exclusively in stakes, he won the Grade 3 Razorback at Oaklawn Park and picked up small pieces of the purse in graded stakes at Keeneland, Hawthorne, Turfway, Prairie Meadows, and Lone Star. In mid-September, Sonic West finished third behind Roses in May, the Breeders' Cup Classic runner-up.

Last year, Sonic West went 2 for 2 in stakes at Mountaineer, highlighted by his nose victory in the Mile.

Two other Kentucky-based runners, Kodema and Discreet Hero, are Sonic West's keenest competition Saturday in a field of 11 older horses.

In the first five months of 2004, Kodema was Grade 3-placed in a pair of stakes and won back-to-back stakes at Delta Downs. Trained by David Carroll, Kodema has been idle since mid-July.

Discreet Hero, trained by Bernie Flint, has posted a pair of triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures since August and steps up in class after back-to-back solid efforts in allowance races at Mountaineer.

Tour the Hive was a close third in last year's Mountaineer Mile, but his last two races were sub-par and he drew poorly in post 10.