08/19/2002 11:00PM

Confucius Say beats Burning Roma

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No one went with Confucius Say early, and nobody came close to catching him late.

Confucius Say ($15.80), a 4-year-old gelding based at Charles Town with trainer George Yetsook, wired a field of five older horses in Tuesday's $57,900 at Delaware Park.

Breaking sharply from post 5, Confucius Say dropped in along the rail and was pressured by Jarf through fractions of 23.78 and 47.08 seconds for the first half-mile. When jockey Larry Reynolds asked Confucius Say for a little more, he sprinted clear of Jarf and drew out to as much as a six-length lead. He finished 4 3/4 lengths in front of Marciano, covering 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.87 over a fast track.

Burning Roma, stakes placed in Grade 1 and Grade 2 races in Florida and New York earlier this season, was made the 6-5 favorite off his recent near-miss in the West Virginia Governor's Cup Handicap at Mountaineer Park. He finished last, beaten more than 22 lengths.