CHARLES TOWN, W.VA., SEPT. 29 -- Taylor Mountain spends most of the year struggling against allowance horses, but for about two minutes each fall he's the best horse in West Virginia. Through clouds of uncertainty he rose again tonight to win the $125,000 Breeders Classic for the second straight year.

Through its four-year history, the Classic has shown a way of reviving old spirit. As in 1989, Taylor Mountain ended a year-long winless streak with tonight's victory, by two lengths over Gentle Is the Nite, the favorite from Maryland who just outlasted Rogers Marcy.

That denied a family-filled exacta: James Casey trains Taylor Mountain for his wife, Eleanor. Their son, Jim, owns and trains Rogers Marcy.

Taylor Mountain overtook Gentle Is the Nite entering the far turn (the second time) and gave Lillian "Mich" Kuykendall the richest victory of her 10-year career. The nation's winningest female jockey took Stacy's Rippon to victory in the previous race.

With his nine-furlong run in 1:54 1/5, Taylor Mountain paid $14.40 and earned $56,250, plus breeding-related bonuses to the Caseys. A 5-year-old, Taylor Mountain now has exceeded $160,000 -- with 70 percent coming on two Breeders Classic victories.

John McKee bred two winners on the program, witnessed by a Classics-record crowd of 7,843.

McKee's 500-acre Beau Ridge Farm is the state's largest breeder of thoroughbreds, and tonight he came face-to-face with an old friend, I'llbealongintime. McKee last had seen her in February when they went to Laurel for a race. Only he returned.

Trainer Luigi Gino claimed I'llbealongintime that day for $12,000 on behalf of John Manfuso Sr., father of Maryland racetrack executives Tom and Bob Manfuso. She since had finished third or better in eight straight starts and tonight made a mockery of a $25,000 stakes race, winning by 14 lengths despite late restraint by Alberto Delgado.

McKee anything but lamented having let I'llbealongintime escape, saying, "If I was in the training business {exclusively}, I'd have to protect my horses. But I'm a breeder; I've got a steady flow of horses coming in. I took {I'llbealongintime} to Maryland to lose."

McKee still owns and trains Rachel's Turn, another homebred who won the $25,000 race for 2-year-old fillies. The McKee-breds were the only odds-on winners.

Fashioned after the Maryland Million, the nine-race Breeders Classics included three races not restricted to West Virginia natives, and one of those left Jim Woods something to savor. Woods, a trainer since 1986, won a stakes race in his first try when Bolting Holme, 8, took the Sam Palumbo Handicap by 2 1/2 lengths.