03/23/2013 1:45PM

Will Rogers Downs: Stickcrossmountain prepping for stakes in comeback race


Stickcrossmountain will have to overcome a near four-month layoff on Monday to remain perfect at Will Rogers Downs. He goes in the fifth race, a six-furlong allowance for Oklahoma-breds that should produce starters for the $55,000 TRAO Classic Sprint on April 9.

Stickcrossmountain won the TRAO last year at Will Rogers in one of two wins he has had at the Claremore, Okla., track. He also accounted for the race’s allowance prep, last March. Monday, the horse will face five others, including fellow stakes winners Ridge Road and Hollywood Ice.

Stickcrossmountain last raced on Nov. 23, finishing fifth in the $50,000 Silver Goblin at Remington Park. He was part of a quick pace in the Oklahoma-bred stakes that has since produced two next-out winners. The runner-up, Fifth Date, came back to account for an optional $20,000 claimer at Remington with a Beyer Speed Figure of 92, and the fourth-place finisher, Steal Your Face, won a $20,000 claimer, also at Remington, with a Beyer of 79.

Stickcrossmountain’s speed gives him a chance to steal away Monday under jockey Cody Worst. The pair will break from the rail, with perhaps their main pace rival being Highway Fiftyfour, who like Stickcrossmountain is coming off a layoff. Stickcrossmountain shows a nice series of local works for his return for Veronica Griggs, who trains the horse for H and H Ranch.

Ferdie Mac finished in front of Stickcrossmountain when third last out in the Silver Goblin. Before that, the horse won an optional $20,000 claimer at Remington. Ferdie Mac has been working regularly at Will Rogers Downs for trainer Boyd Caster, who wins at a 24 percent rate with horses making their first start for him following a layoff of more than 45 days. Curtis Kimes will ride Ferdie Mac.

Agent is returning to both a sprint distance and the overnight ranks after finishing 10th in the Grade 2, $400,000 Risen Star at Fair Grounds on Feb. 23. Travis Wales has the mount for trainer Amy McAnally.

◗ Real Appeal Deal, who was fifth to Louisiana Derby candidate Departing last out in the Texas Heritage at Sam Houston, looks like a leading contender in the sixth race, a first-level allowance for 3-year-olds and up at a mile. Rohan Singh has the mount for trainer Tim G. Williams. The field of eight also includes Roughout Okie, a 4-year-old and the first foal from D Fine Okie, a seven-time stakes winner in the region who earned $470,160.