09/24/2008 11:00PM

Anderson family unites for Delightful Kiss


There's a more-important race one month away for Delightful Kiss, who qualified for the Breeders' Cup Marathon through the Win and You're In program, but Saturday's Grade 3, $200,000 All American at Golden Gate Fields has significance for trainer Pete Anderson.

Anderson, based in Florida, has shipped Delightful Kiss to Golden Gate Fields for more than just a prep race, he said.

"Winning is primary," said Anderson, whose daughter Aggie Ordonez will saddle Delightful Kiss on Saturday.

"You can't come 3,000 miles and not win with your daughter here and saddling for you."

A 4-year-old gelding, Delightful Kiss qualified for the new 1 1/2-mile Marathon with his victory in the Sept. 6 Turfway Park Fall Championship in his first start on a synthetic surface. Turfway has Polytrack, the All American will be run over a Tapeta surface, and the Marathon will be contested over Santa Anita's new Pro-Ride surface.

Delightful Kiss has six rivals in the 1 1/8-mile All American, and Anderson said they will need to be at their best.

"He's doing as good as you could ask him to do," said Anderson. "He couldn't be any better. I think it will take a big race to beat him the way he's been training."

Delightful Kiss has become a family affair since his arrival at Golden Gate Fields.

Victor Ordonez, Anderson's son-in-law, works and gallops the horse.

"Victor's as strong as a bull, and he has him galloping better than he ever has in the past," Anderson said. "With those two together, it's like a glove fits the hand. I hope he can go down to Santa Anita with us before the Breeders' Cup, but he works on the gate crew here. I told him if he'd lose 35 pounds, he could ride him in the race."

Anderson is not worried about a rider. At his daughter's suggestion, he had Calvin Borel ride Delightful Kiss in the Turfway race. Borel will make his first appearance at Golden Gate Fields to ride him Saturday and will also ride Delightful Kiss in the Breeders' Cup.

The millionaire Awesome Gem could prove Delightful Kiss's main rival in the stretch. Both horses will try to rally from off the pace. Awesome Gem is winless since last summer but has finished in the top three several times in Grade 1 races, including a third in last year's Breeders' Cup Classic and seconds in last year's Goodwood and Pacific Classic. He comes off a seventh-place finish at 4-1 in the Pacific Classic over the Del Mar Polytrack last month, and before that was beaten a nose in the Wickerr at Del Mar.

Victorian Prince and Our Partner both like the front end, although Victorian Prince seems more of a long-distance and turf specialist who may not be as quick as Our Partner.