10/23/2002 11:00PM

Cape Good Hope a BC barometer


Handicappers who are thinking about backing Toccet in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile might want to first take a look at Saturday's Dover Stakes at Delaware Park.

Cape Good Hope, who raced up close for the first six furlongs of the Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park before tiring to finish a distant fifth behind Toccet, returns in the one-mile, $100,000 Dover, one of six races on a card that begins at 10:45 a.m. on Breeders' Cup Day.

A strong performance by Cape Good Hope, a 2-year-old trained by Rodney Jenkins, would flatter Toccet's Champagne performance and perhaps enhance the confidence of horseplayers who like his chances in the Juvenile later in the day.

Cape Good Hope's two previous races at Delaware were both good ones, including a win at a mile in an allowance race, where he earned an 87 Beyer Speed Figure.

Title Contender, who will break from the rail just inside Cape Good Hope, is the other horse with stakes experience beyond six furlongs. Title Contender comes into the Dover off a win in the mile and 70-yard World Appeal at The Meadowlands. He earned a 77 Beyer for that effort.

Crafty Guy, unbeaten in two starts, including the six-furlong NATC Futurity with an 84 Beyer, makes his first start around two turns. He is trained by John Robb.

Two horses coming off maiden wins are intriguing possibilities. Valenzo soared from a 34 Beyer to an 83 when stretched out to a mile with the addition of blinkers on Sept. 22.

Gimmeawink, trained by Tim Ritchey, won his career debut by three lengths racing 5 1/2 furlongs. His sire, Elusive Quality, set a world record for a mile on turf in 1998, so a mile should certainly be within Gimmeawink's range.

Three strikes and Your Out?

Three months ago, 4-year-old filly Your Out came within a neck of Summer Colony, one of the leading contenders in the Breeders' Cup Distaff, in the Delaware Handicap. Since then, however, Your Out's form has tailed off dramatically in consecutive losses in the mud at Arlington and on turf at Pimlico.

Trainer Graham Motion may have found the perfect spot for Your Out to bounce back in the Waya, one of two $50,000 stakes Laurel Park will present on an 11-race card that begins at 11:30 a.m.

In the 1 1/16-mile Waya, Your Out catches a field in which several of her sharpest competitors are far more proficient on turf and none of the runners who usually race on dirt have come close to Your Out's best Beyer Speed Figures.

In addition, Your Out returns to Laurel, where she has four wins and three seconds in eight lifetime starts.

In the co-featured Ta Wee for fillies and mares at six furlongs, Blinded by Love makes her first start since winning the Maryland Million Distaff a month ago.

Her chief rivals are Winter Leaf, a two-time stakes winner at Laurel, and Slewgenes, who has won her last two dirt sprints in New York.