10/17/2007 11:00PM

Yetsook could sweep two richest races

EmailTrainer George Yetsook and owner Randy Funkhouser of O'Sullivan Farms are holding a pair of aces for the two most lucrative stakes on Saturday night's West Virginia Breeders Classics program at Charles Town.

The 9-year-old gelding Confucius Say will attempt to win the $500,000 Classic for the third time - five years after he last captured the 1 1/8-mile stakes - about a half-hour after 4-year-old filly Julie B bids for a repeat in the $350,000 Cavada at seven furlongs.

Six other races, restricted to West Virginia-bred or West Virginia-sired horses, will offer a purse of $100,000 apiece on the all-stakes card.

Confucius Say missed 3 1/2 years after breaking a bone spur in his left rear foot winning the 2002 Classic for the second straight year. His 2006 comeback was capped by a 9 1/4-length romp in the seven-furlong Onion Juice on the Breeders Classics card. Yetsook said he didn't shoot for the richer purse in the 2006 Classic because he feared that, based on earnings over the previous 24 months, Confucius Say may not have made it into the field.

This season, Confucius Say proved he was perhaps better than ever when he crushed five rivals in the seven-furlong Charles Town Dash, earning a career-best 113 Beyer Speed Figure.

"He's a freak," Yetsook said of Confucius Say, a gelded son of Eastover Court who stands 17 hands. "He doesn't change - he seems to get better. Physically, he's got the legs of a 3- or a 4-year-old."

In his prep for the Classic, Confucius Say faded to fourth of five going 1 1/16 miles in a stakes at the Meadowlands. Yetsook said he's not concerned by that rare dud.

"Sometimes you have to run a race to get where you want to be for the next race," said Yetsook, who trains between 18 and 24 head for O'Sullivan Farms, West Virginia's oldest and largest breeding farm. "He simply got tired. He needed that race. Now he's all set for this race."

If Confucius Say improves at all off his subpar performance, he should win the Classic with no problem. Confucius Say posted an 80 Beyer at the Meadowlands, only 1 point lower than the best Beyer posted by his nine rivals in their last three starts.

Yetsook and Funkhouser will also have the heavy favorite in the Cavada for fillies and mares. Julie B is 9 for 11 locally, including a 1 1/2-length win in last year's Cavada. After an unsuccessful two-race experiment on grass, Julie B tuned up for the Cavada with a dominating 4 1/4-length win on Sept. 22.

"She's an exceptional horse," Yetsook said. "The amazing thing is that she has never yet run to her total capability. She clears horses and then she tends to goof around."

Julie B's chief competition will once again be Carnival Chrome, a consistent 5-year-old who is 7 for 11 lifetime. Three of those losses, however, have come when she has faced Julie B, including in the 2006 Cavada.

In the other stakes on the card:

* Youbeyoun'i'llbeme, who dominated maidens in her first start on Lasix, challenges We're in the Money, a two-time stakes winner at the distance, in the 4 1/2-furlong Triple Crown Nutrition for 2-year-old fillies.

* Gold Standard, a winner of three straight races at the distance, will be a heavy favorite in the seven-furlong West Virginia Lottery for 3-year-olds.

* Lord of Dance, unbeaten in three starts by a combined margin of nearly 21 lengths, tries to stretch his speed to 6 1/2 furlongs in the Vincent Moscarelli Memorial for 2-year-olds. His chief rival, Pow Wow Power, has already lost to Lord of Dance twice but improved dramatically when he won the 6 1/2-furlong prep for this stakes on Sept. 29.

* Defending champion Not for Sam, a 9-year-old gelding who is winless in two starts this season and has not raced since May, faces the sharp 6-year-old Missacity Luke, a dominant winner in two starts since being claimed by owner-trainer Keisy Cartagena, in the 4 1/2-furlong Dash for Cash.

* Hello Out There, sixth in last year's Classic, tries to end a string of four straight second-place finishes in the seven-furlong Onion Juice. Although 0 for 6 this year, Hello Out There's consistent Beyers in the mid- to upper 80s make him a formidable threat in this spot.

* B's Wild Rush, who improved her Beyer nearly 30 points when she romped in the prep for the seven-furlong West Virginia Division of Tourism for 3-year-old fillies, must overcome post 10 and the possibility of a bounce. If B's Wild Rush fails to fire, the most likely winner would be Sassy Sheri or Jip's Girl, who finished second and third behind her in the prep on Sept. 28.