07/15/2002 11:00PM

Cast assembling for weekend's big show


Stakes horses are arriving at Delaware Park daily in anticipation of the $600,000 Delaware Handicap and the five other stakes to be run this weekend at the Stanton, Del., track.

Starrer, from California, and Pompeii, from Kentucky, are among the recent arrivals for the Delaware Handicap, a Grade 3 race that attracted a field of 10 fillies and mares when entries were taken Tuesday.

Summer Colony, based in New York with Mark Hennig, is the 118-pound highweight and likely favorite in the 1 1/4-mile Del 'Cap, the annual highlight of the year at Delaware Park. Summer Colony captured the Pimlico Distaff in May before finishing second in the June 29 Molly Pitcher in her last start.

Other entrants for Sunday's Del 'Cap are Catch the Ring, 116; Mountain Angel, 116; Starrer, 116; Pompeii, 114; Critical Eye, 113; Two Item Limit, 113; Your Out, 113; Quiet Lake, 111; and Unrestrained, 111.

While entries for the Del 'Cap closed Tuesday, post positions were to be drawn Wednesday morning at a press breakfast at the track.

Starrer, winner of the Grade 2 Bayakoa last fall, arrived Saturday "to take some time to get used to the track and the weather," said trainer John Shirreffs.

Pompeii, winner of the Grade 1 Personal Ensign last summer, posted a half-mile workout in 48.40 seconds Monday at Delaware for trainer Elliott Walden.

The $250,000 Kent Breeders' Cup Stakes and $75,000 Light Hearted Stakes also will be run Sunday at Delaware Park, while the two-day Delaware Handicap Festival begins on Saturday with the Delaware Oaks and two other stakes. In those other races:

* Adoration, a California invader trained by David Hofmans, figures as a solid favorite among a field of eight 3-year-old fillies entered for the $250,000 Delaware Oaks. Top challengers include Alternate, Fly Borboleta, Allamerican Bertie, and Sixtyone Margaux.

* Ten fillies and mares are entered in the $150,000 Robert G. Dick Memorial Stakes, a 1 3/8-mile turf race to be run Saturday.

* Bowman's Band, Runspastum, and Grundlefoot are among 10 older horses entered in the $100,000 R.R.M. Carpenter Jr. Memorial, a 1 1/16-mile race on Saturday.

* The Kent BC, which has evolved into a solid midsummer gauge for 3-year-old turf horses, has drawn a field of eight topped by Miesque's Approval and Quest Star.

* The Light Hearted, a six-furlong race for fillies and mares, also drew a field of eight.

The Delaware Handicap and Kent BC will be packaged with the Coaching Club American Oaks from Belmont on a one-hour telecast Sunday on ESPN2. Coverage begins at 6 p.m. Eastern.

Many top jockeys are expected to ride during the two-day festival, including Jerry Bailey, Pat Day, Jorge Chavez, John Velazquez, Mark Guidry, and Garrett Gomez.