09/21/2002 11:00PM

X Country tops on fast track


In five tries on turf, including two stakes races this season, X Country has been unable to do better than one third-place finish. He is also winless when he has been asked to race when the main track is wet.

Put him on a fast track, however, and the 4-year-old X Country is a model of consistency, collecting six wins and five seconds in 17 starts.

Tuesday's $75,000 Fall Handicap at Mountaineer Park will be run on dirt, and if the weather is good the seven rivals X Country faces in the 1 1/8-mile race could be in deep trouble.

In three of his six races this season for trainer Jack Fuchs, X Country has earned a triple-digit Beyer Speed Figure, including the 103 he was awarded for his 6 3/4-length romp as the favorite in Mountaineer's Slipton Fell Handicap in early June.

Last time he raced at Mountaineer, X Country was a fast-closing third, beaten only three-quarters of a length by Docent and Burning Roma in the West Virginia Governor's Handicap.

X Country's biggest threat could come from E Z Glory, a 5-year-old who has yet to regain the good form he showed last year when he won four of eight starts and $134,620. In six starts this season, E Z Glory is winless, but he does have Beyers of 104 and 103 from second-place finishes at Prairie Meadows and Keeneland.

E Z Glory, trained by Carl Bowman, will be making his first start since early July and he fired a big effort the last time he came off a similar layoff.

Dumaani of Course, a 3-year-old colt trained by Harold Jordan, is 4 for 4 at Mountaineer, including a 2 1/4-length win earlier this month in his first start since July 22. Though sharp, Dumaani of Course is unproven against stakes company.

Do I Ever has raced well in two starts against claimers at Delaware Park since he was taken by trainer John Zimmerman for $16,000 in mid-July. Considering Zimmer-man's record of 10 wins in 15 starts at Mountaineer this season, anything he ships in must be considered dangerous.

Another out-of-town horse, the 6-year-old Ewer All Wet, has been off for seven weeks. The last time he came to Mountaineer from Maryland off a similar layoff, Ewer All Wet was a solid third in last fall's Mountaineer Mile.

The 8-year-old Irish Silence comes in off an allowance score and owns a record of 2-2-0 in five starts locally.