07/13/2005 11:00PM

'Capote' rested and ready to fire

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Dance Away Capote, winning the Bourbonette BC, enters Saturday's Delaware Oaks off a month break.

Watching your horse surrender a clear lead as the 1-5 favorite in her final prep for a $500,000 stakes isn't exactly a confidence builder, but trainer H. Graham Motion remains optimistic that the 3-year-old filly can make amends for that disappointing defeat when she runs in Saturday's Grade 2 Delaware Oaks at 1 1/16 miles.

Motion, who won the Oaks in 2000 with Sincerely, said the three weeks between Dance Away Capote's dominating win in the Go for Wand at Delaware Park and her one-length loss to Pleasant Chimes in the Susan's Girl Breeders' Cup on June 18 may have been insufficient.

"Actually, I prefer the timing of this race over the last, because she had to come back quite quickly for the last one," Motion said. "This time she has had a month, which I think is more suitable for her."

Motion has given the mount to Rafael Bejarano, who rode Dance Away Capote to victory in the Bourbonette BC at Turfway Park in March, because his go-to rider at Delaware, Ramon Dominguez, will be at Colonial Downs on Saturday for the Virginia Derby.

"Rafael Bejarano is 1 for 1 with her, so we can't do any better than that," Motion said. "He has become a top rider in the country, and he rode her beautifully the day he won with her."

, privately purchased by trainer Jeff Mullins for owner Mike House last winter after she won her career debut at Calder with a 93 Beyer Speed Figure, flourished when she was stretched out beyond seven furlongs for the first time in last month's Grade 2 Hollywood Oaks. She responded with a career-best 95 Beyer, confirming Mullins's suspicions that her pedigree indicated she would appreciate longer distances.

"We bought this filly to stretch her out," Mullins said of Brooke's Halo, a daughter of Southern Halo by the Salt Lake mare Salty Lady. "We thought that she would go long. When we finally got the opportunity to go long with her, she won."

Mullins said he felt the Delaware Oaks was a far better option than keeping Brooke's Halo in California for the Del Mar meet or sending her to Florida for last weekend's Summit of Speed.

"The only thing they have for her at Del Mar are turf races, so the Delaware Oaks was really one of our only options," he said. "It was either the Oaks or the Summit of Speed, and I really didn't want to shorten her back up again."

The two most accomplished fillies in the field of eight for the Delaware Oaks are Round Pond and Sis City, both of whom are multiple graded stakes winners.

hasn't lost since her career debut at Oaklawn in February, stringing together four consecutive wins, including the Grade 2 Fantasy at Oaklawn and the Grade 1 Acorn at Belmont.

Sis City dominated her competition in her first two starts at 3, winning the Grade 2 Davona Dale at Gulfstream and the Grade 1 Ashland at Keeneland by a combined margin of 26 1/2 lengths. She was given some time to regroup following her fourth-place finish as the heavy favorite in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks on May 6.

Trainer Bobby Frankel, pinch-hitting for the suspended Richard Dutrow Jr., has prepped Sis City for the Delaware Oaks with a string of sharp workouts at Belmont, including two five-furlong moves in less than a minute.