07/28/2011 4:08PM

Del Mar: Dave's Revenge's gate antics


Dave's Revenge's chances in Thursday's second race will be known a moment after the start, according to trainer Bob Hess, Jr.

"She'll either win or get left," he said on Thursday morning.

Poor gate behavior has plagued Dave's Revenge in the past, and caused starter Gary Brinson difficulties.

At Hollywood Park on May 15, Dave's Revenge caused a fit before the start and was taken out of the gate. As she was being reloaded, an asssistant starter was standing in front of the mare and not on the adjacent ledge within the starting gate when the stall doors opened. Dave's Revenge was declared a non-starter in that field. She subsequently finished second in a $20,000 claimer on June 16 and fourth in a $25,000 claimer on July 4.

"She's a pain in the rear," Hess said. ""Gary has learned that he has to do something different with her to trick her. She's smart."

Hess said that Brinson has loaded Dave's Revenge first, taken her out of the gate, and then put her back in the gate when the rest of the field was loaded. Another time he put her in the gate first.

Thursday, Dave's Revenge is the 5-2 favorite in a one-mile race for $25,000 claimers, but must beat six rivals, including Vikkilee and Malusita. A winner of 3 of 23 starts and $232,010, Dave's Revenge was fourth behind Stardom Bound in the 2008 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita. At the time, she was trained by Hess, who later lost her via a claim for $16,000. He claimed her back, for $40,000, at Hollywood Park last fall.

Dave's Revenge's last win was an allowance race at Santa Anita in October 2009. She has been plagued by poor starts at times even when she is settled in the starting gate.

Hess is doubtful that a claim will be placed on Dave's Revenge on Thursday, wondering if another trainer would take the risk with a filly of a mind of her own.

"She's scary to claim because she could get banned at some time," Hess said.