04/07/2012 12:06PM

Will Rogers Downs: My Star Runner back on dirt for Route 66


My Star Runner will be getting back to dirt, the surface over which he has had the bulk of his success, on Monday, when he runs in the $50,000 Clem McSpadden Memorial Route 66 at Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, Okla.

The Route 66, which is the first stakes of the young meet, is for 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs. It drew a field of seven older runners, including Steal Your Face, winner of the $50,000 Silver Goblin at Remington Park in November, and Wally Van, who won four consecutive stakes last year between July and September.

My Star Runner raced on turf last out at Fair Grounds. He finished fifth, beaten just 1 1/4 lengths, in a $40,000 optional claimer Feb. 26. Following that race, My Star Runner was entered in the $60,000 Bayou St. John Stakes at 5 1/2 furlongs on turf at Fair Grounds on April 1, but was scratched in favor of the Route 66.

“He ran decent on the turf,” said Cody Autrey, who trains My Star Runner for Charles Fletcher. “But he really doesn’t care for the Fair Grounds dirt or turf course. We thought this was a better spot for him, and wanted to keep him on dirt.”

My Star Runner ran second in last year’s Route 66 in his lone start at Will Rogers. Overall, he has registered six of his seven wins on dirt. Jose Medina has the mount Monday from post 3.

Steal Your Face has raced once since winning the Silver Goblin, finishing fourth in a $35,000 optional claimer at Will Rogers on March 13. Belen Quinonez has the mount for Rusty Roberts and trainer Roger Engel.

Wally Van won last year’s Colorado Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Derby, Colorado Derby, the Mt. Elbert against older rivals at Arapahoe Park, and the Ruidoso Derby. Travis Wales has the mount for trainer Mark Buehrer.