03/27/2002 12:00AM

Wilkinson warms up at Mountaineer


Trainer James Wilkinson endured a terrible season in 2001, winning with just three of the 78 horses he saddled. But this year, Wilkinson is enjoying a reversal of fortune.

Wilkinson's horses won a pair of 5 1/2-furlong starter allowance races on back-to-back programs at Mountaineer Park earlier this week, improving his record to 5 for 28 on the year.

Monday night, 5-year-old mare Mitty ($36.20) won for the first time in five starts since Wilkinson claimed her for $6,500 last September.

On Tuesday, Twin Meteor ($12.60), a 5-year-old gelding who began his career by winning two races at Belmont Park, won for the third time in his last five starts.

Both of Wilkinson's winners are owned by Rodney Moyer and were ridden by Dave Jenkins.

* A statistical oddity occurred last Friday when the order of finish in the first, second, and fourth races was 6-8-9. Any $2 trifecta players who repeatedly played those numbers could have collected more than $1,600 as the favorites failed to win all three races.

The 6 horse also won the third race, giving that post position a sweep of the first four races. The result didn't seem to be the product of any particular bias, as first-race winner Sun Legend ($10) and Mighty Ohara ($11.40) both rallied wide to complete a $50.40 early double. Caties Delight ($9.80) vied for the lead from the start in the third and Capt. Kombat ($13.60) sustained a middle move along the inside to win the fourth.