Barbara Smollin's Sir Bear will start as the 118-pound highweight when he faces Stonehedge Farm's Blazing Sword in Sunday's $350,000 Philip H. Iselin Handicap (gr. II) at Monmouth Park. Blazing Sword had also been under consideration for Saturday's Pacific Classic at Del Mar, but trainer Kathleen O'Connell opted for the Iselin instead. In his last race, the 6-year-old gelding won the Washington Park Handicap (gr. II) at Arlington International.
Likely Iselin starter Mountain Range worked four furlongs over the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga on Wednesday. The son of Mountain Cat was timed in :48.06, handily. Mountain Range is trained by D. Wayne Lukas for Overbrook Farm and will carry 111 pounds in the Iselin. The 4-year-old's only stakes win to date came as a juvenile in the Miller Genuine Draft Cradle Stakes at River Downs in 1998.
Others considered likely for the Iselin are Talk's Cheap (114 pounds), Fire King (113), and supplemental nominee Truluck (111). Rize (111) is still under consideration for the 1 1/8-mile race.