06/17/2004 12:00AM

Arroyo racking up stakes wins


Baseball has its designated hitter. Norberto Arroyo Jr. is becoming the designated stakes rider for New Yorkers at Delaware Park.

Since moving his tack to Delaware from Aqueduct on Memorial Day, Arroyo has won three stakes and finished second in another added-money event, all for trainers who are either based in New York or race there frequently.

Most recently, Arroyo rode 3-year-old filly Becky in Pink, trained by Steve Klesaris, to an easy win in an overnight stakes shifted from the turf to the main track on Tuesday. He also won the $50,000 Eight Thirty Stakes aboard Private Lap for Klesaris with his first mount at the meet on May 31.

Arroyo rode Coined for Success, trained by Del Carroll III, to victory in the $75,000 Nick Shuk Memorial on June 6, a day after finishing second on the Shug McGaughey-trained Aztec Pearl in the $100,000 John Rooney Memorial.

Coming into Saturday's program, Arroyo ranks 12th in the Delaware jockey standings with 7 wins, 12 seconds, and 5 thirds from 40 mounts.

Arroyo said he had a solid plan laid out when he made the move from Aqueduct, where he finished ninth in the spring-meet standings with 16 wins. He intends to ride at Delaware until the end of the meet, then return to New York in November.

"I have a good relationship with many New York trainers who ship horses to Delaware all the time," Arroyo said. "Plus, I have a good a relationship with some trainers at Delaware who run in New York during the winter. So coming to Delaware has given me an opportunity to solidify my ties with trainers I ride for on a regular basis in New York during the winter. Hopefully when the winter meet starts in New York, I will be in an even better position with some of these trainers."

Obeah rematches Del Cap hopefuls

Misty Sixes and Gelli, who finished one-two going 1 1/16 miles on May 22, meet again in Saturday's $100,000 Obeah Handicap. The 1 1/8-mile race is the last local prep for the Grade 2, $750,000 Delaware Handicap at 1 1/4 miles on July 18.

Trainer Charles Hadry is optimistic that the 4-year-old Gelli can turn the tables on Misty Sixes, avenging her only loss in six lifetime starts.

"If you look at her races, the last one was the first time she had to really dig down and run," said Hadry. "Things really did not go her way that day, but she really came running at the end. She was closing at the wire and we are going an extra sixteenth of a mile, so I have to feel really good about her."

Misty Sixes, a 6-year-old trained by Steve Klesaris, has won both of her starts this season by a combined 12 1/4 lengths.

Hadry has also entered the 6-year-old mare Shiny Sheet, a winner in 4 of 8 starts at Delaware. She finished second in the 2003 Obeah and third in last year's Delaware Handicap.

The spoiler could be New York-based mare Nonsuch Bay, who has been picking up small pieces of purses in graded stakes the past two seasons. The last time Nonsuch Bay ran in a non-graded stakes, she produced a 3 1/2-length victory at Gulfstream Park.

Maryland shippers dangerous

Maryland-based 3-year-old fillies Pawyne Princess and Richetta appear formidable in Saturday's feature, the $175,000 Susan's Girl Breeders' Cup at 1 1/16 miles. The race is the last local prep for the Grade 2 Delaware Oaks on July 17.

Pawyne Princess has yet to win a stakes, but she comes off a pair of good runner-up efforts at 1 1/8 miles, most recently finishing 1 1/2 lengths behind Yearly Report in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico.

Richetta was a three-time stakes winner at 2, but has been unraced since December. She prepped for this by working a series of bullets at Laurel, followed by a stamina-building mile last week.

Other contenders include Native Annie, a two-time stakes winner against Texas-breds who finished less than two lengths behind Pawyne Princess in the Black-Eyed Susan; Hopelessly Devoted, whose Beyer Speed Figures have improved from 49 in March to an 88 in last month's Go for Wand; and Adventure, a winner of two in a row for trainer Graham Motion.