10/24/2007 11:00PM

Blue Hen duo are longshots no more

EmailInitiation and Dagger, each of whom recently outran their high odds in graded stakes, will likely be the first two betting choices in Saturday's $100,000 Blue Hen Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at Delaware Park.

Initiation, the 9-5 favorite on the track's morning line, comes into the 1 1/16-mile Blue Hen after finishing fourth of 10 at 19-1 in the Grade 1 Alciabiades, a 1 1/16-mile race over Keeneland's Polytrack. In her only race on conventional dirt, Initiation romped by 10 lengths in a maiden sprint at Laurel Park.

Trained by Graham Motion, Initiation is owned by George Strawbridge's Augustin Stable, which won the $150,000 Dowager and a Group 2 stakes in France last Sunday.

Initiation has the pedigree to excel as a juvenile. Her sire, Deputy Minister, was 8 for 9 at 2, including winning the Grade 1 Young America and Grade 1 Laurel Futurity.

Dagger, the second choice at 5-2, finished third two starts ago as a 32-1 outsider in the Grade 2 Matron at Belmont Park. She was only fourth of seven, however, when she dropped down in class for a restricted six-furlong stakes at the Meadowlands last time out.

Although Dagger has yet to race beyond seven furlongs, her trainer, Jim Ryerson, is 7 for 36 with 2-year-olds going sprint-to-route the last five years, and her sire, Tactical Cat, won the Grade 1 Hollywood Futurity at 1o1/16 miles.

Holy Helen and Hidden Wish, both coming off maiden wins going two turns on dirt, are intriguing possibilities in the field of six.

Holy Helen, a daughter of Holy Bull, is a half-sister to Marcavelly, who last year as a 2-year-old won the Continental Mile and was second in the Grade 3 Summer Stakes.

Hidden Wish comes from the high-percentage barn of Steve Klesaris. He shows good statistics with 2-year-olds returning from a maiden win in a route (3 for 7, $3.57 return on investment) and 2-year-olds going long for the second time (3 for 9, $3.18 ROI).

Special first post time for Breeders' Cup Day is 10:45 a.m. Eastern.