05/12/2005 11:00PM

Dance Away Capote to race at Delaware

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Graham Motion is pointing Dance Away Capote to three races at Delaware.

The fever that prevented Dance Away Capote from running in the May 6 Kentucky Oaks means her trainer, Graham Motion, will likely focus on the series of stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Delaware Park, which culminates in the $500,000 Delaware Oaks on July 16.

Motion said earlier this week that he's inclined to allow Dance Away Capote a little more time to recuperate rather than rush her to get ready for the Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico on Friday.

"It was a huge disappointment not to run her in the Kentucky Oaks," Motion said. Although her temperature was normal on Wednesday morning, Motion said, "We still might be pushing it to make the Black-Eyed Susan."

A more viable option is the series of races at Delaware that begins with the $100,000 Go for Wand Stakes on May 28 and the $175,000 Susan's Girl Breeders' Cup on June 28, and concludes with the Oaks. All three races are 1 1/16 miles.

"I love the Delaware program for 3-year-old fillies," Motion said. "We also know that she likes the track."

Last September, Dance Away Capote won the one-mile Irish Sonnet at Delaware. In her most recent outing, she scored by four lengths in the Bourbonette Stakes at Turfway Park.

Motion has another filly, and she will be pointing toward Delaware's stakes for older females.

The 4-year-old Summer Rainbow, a 4 1/2-length winner of an allowance on May 2 with an 81 Beyer, is targeting the $100,000 Obeah Handicap at 1 1/8 miles on June 18.

"She is obviously a filly that really likes Delaware," Motion said. "She is 3 for 3 now at Delaware. There is a lot to be said for an older mare that likes Delaware Park. I think the logical way to go is the Obeah."

Motion is quite familiar with the possible path Summer Rainbow may take leading to the track's premier race, the Grade 2, $750,000 Delaware Handicap on July 17.

In 1997, Motion campaigned Power Play, who ran second in the Obeah and then won the Delaware Handicap.

In 2002, his horse Your Out captured the Summer King Stakes and the Obeah Handicap before running second in the Delaware Handicap.

Pletcher horses heavily bet

As expected, bettors have heavily bet almost everything trainer Todd Pletcher has entered at Delaware.

Though Pletcher has won with 2 of 4 starters, no one's getting rich on his winners. Maddalena, winner of the opening-day Legal Light Stakes on April 30, and Ready Again, who won his maiden on Monday after finishing second in his career debut at Keeneland, both paid just $2.60.

Highgate Park was fourth as the 5-2 favorite in an optional claimer last Saturday. Battle Hero, whose recent form in New York has been dismal, was fourth at 6-1 in a second-level allowance on Tuesday.

Our Leader wins season debut

Credit trainer Gary Craig with a clever maneuver to keep Our Leader eligible for the starter-allowance series in Maryland.

Our Leader, who won a $7,500 starter-allowance on turf each of the past two seasons, was shipped to Penn National last November to run on dirt, where he is 0 for 7 lifetime. He plodded around the track, last of 12 at 74-1. But because Our Leader ran for a $5,000 tag, he renewed his eligibility for Maryland's $7,500 starter allowance series.

In his first start of the year last Saturday at Pimlico, the 8-year-old Our Leader ($9.60) got up by a nose in a one-mile turf race restricted to horses who started for a claiming price of $7,500 or less either this year or in 2004.

Pedigree play pays dividends

Handicappers who pay close attention to pedigree were rewarded with a $24.20 win mutuel when Learning, a first-time starter trained by Kevin Boniface, scored by 3 3/4 lengths in a maiden turf route at Pimlico last Sunday.

A 3-year-old colt, Learning is a son of Lear Fan, a Group 1 winner on turf in France in 1984.