09/13/2002 11:00PM

After a flop in the mud, Jubileo back on turf


After starting out his 5-year-old season with two nice allowance wins and a solid second in a minor stakes, Jubileo appeared sharp enough that trainer Tom Voss entered him in the Grade 3 Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga.

But Voss never got to find out if Jublileo was up to the challenge as the race was washed off the turf. Jubileo ran anyway, finishing last.

Jubileo gets a chance to prove that his bad performance in the mud was a fluke when he returns to the grass for Monday's $55,000 Leader of the Band Stakes at Delaware Park.

In his only previous appearance at Delaware, Jubileo wired a 12-horse field of allowance horses in June, earning a 94 Beyer Speed Figure. He posted a career-high 99 Beyer in his last turf start in late July at Saratoga.

Although the competition in the Leader of the Band isn't anywhere close to the caliber of the Fourstardave, Jubileo is no lock. Not if Mus-If can display the form he showed earlier this season. As recently as June, Mus-If was good enough to finish within a length of Del Mar Show in the New Hampshire Sweepstakes, earning a 101 Beyer.

Given five weeks to recuperate from that effort, Mus-If inexplicably threw in a clunker as the favorite in the Sussex at Delaware. He has now had another six weeks of rest, so bettors will have to guess if Mus-If will improve.

Stauch fits at this level based on his two most recent speed figures, 92 and 93, which he earned in back-to-back wins against high-priced claimers. In addition to being sharp, Stauch is a horse for the course with 5 wins in 8 local starts.

Spectacular Light, who was claimed by trainer Scott Lake for $25,000 in June, moves from an allowance to a stakes after winning his last start by a head at 29-1, earning a 98 Beyer. Because the purse of that allowance race was enhanced to $81,100 for Owners' Day, Spectacular Light is actually running for less money in Monday's overnight stakes.

Dog Tags was the beaten favorite in Spectacular Light's allowance win. Although he has consistently put up speed figures between 89 and 94 and frequently finished close to the winner, Dog Tags has been unable to win any of his last six races and is 0 for 5 lifetime at Delaware.