Like last year, the Presque Isle Mile drew an overflow field, with 13 entered but the starting lineup limited to 12. Allowance winner Mongolian Saturday is on the also-eligible list to draw in if any scratches occur.
Contested on the Tapeta all-weather surface at the track near Erie, Pa., the Presque Isle Mile could be right in the wheelhouse of Bulldog Racing's Alpha Bettor, the recent Aug. 8 Seagram Cup Stakes (Can-III) winner who has never raced outside Woodbine. Winner of the Eclipse Stakes (Can-II) earlier this season, the 5-year-old son of Alphabet Soup will have Justin Stein in the irons from the rail for trainer Daniel Vella.
Hogy is another graded-stakes winner; he took the one-mile Hanshin Cup (gr. III) on the Polytrack at Arlington Park in May and comes off a solid Aug. 14 victory sprinting 5 1/2-furlongs on yielding turf at Saratoga Race Course in the Troy Stakes. William Stiritz owns the 4-year-old son of Offlee Wild , who is trained by Wayne Catalano. Joe Rocco Jr. gets the mount from post 9.
Two Rivers Racing Stable's Ponzi Scheme is a multiple stakes winner who last ran third in the July 28 Monmouth Cup Stakes (gr. II) at Monmouth Park behind Pants on Fire and Hymn Book. Prior to that, the 6-year-old gelded son of Sunday Break won the Stymie Stakes for trainer Jorge Navarro by 1 1/4 lengths over 2010 Breeders' Cup Marathon victor Eldaafer, who took the Sept. 2 Greenwood Cup (gr. III) at Parx Racing. Elvis Trujillo will ride from post 5.
Sophomore Heaven's Runway has won three races at Presque Isle, including his most recent outing, an Aug. 7 six-furlong test on the all-weather track for trainer Joseph Martin. K.K. and Devi Jayaraman's Run Away and Hide homebred also won the Fitz Dixon Jr. Memorial Juvenile Stakes as a 2-year-old at the Pennsylvania track.
Third in the Feb. 18 Southwest Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park, Heaven's Runway ran ninth in the Arkansas Derby (gr. I) in April and fifth in an allowance event at Prairie Meadows in May before taking a brief respite and coming back in the August event with a one-length win. David Mello will ride from post 8.
Also of interest are graded-stakes winners Hoofit and Gourmet Dinner, both of whom haven't won in a while. Gourmet Dinner took the Majestic Light Stakes at Monmouth last July for trainer Robert Triola and Our Sugar Bear Stable, while Hoofit won the 2011 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland for Graham Motion and Mrs. S.K. Johnston Jr.
Hoofit, a New Zeland-bred 6-year-old Mossman gelding, has been running competitively in stakes and allowance company for quite some time, with several runner-up finishes and solid efforts, including a July 29 close third in allowance company at Saratoga at one mile on the inner turf. Gourmet Dinner, a Trippi 5-year-old, has also been in better form in recent starts, and comes off a third in a one-mile allowance race Aug. 18 at Presque Isle behind Super Chunky and Whatthecatdrugin.