Updated on 05/06/2011 11:11AM

Delaware: Comedero looking sharp as ever

Oaklawn Park/Coady Photography
Comedero, winning his comeback from a six-month layoff in the restricted Nodouble at Oaklawn, tries to follow up that effort in the Vince Moscarelli at Delaware Park.

Five of the 11 older sprinters in Saturday’s $75,000 Vincent Moscarelli Memorial Stakes at Delaware Park posted a Beyer Speed Figure of 99 or higher last time out, including four within one point of each other. Although Rule by Night boasts the best last-race Beyer with a 108, it’s Comedero who will probably command the most respect from bettors in the six-furlong sprint that kicks off Delaware’s 22-race stakes schedule.

During the first six months of 2010, Comedero was arguably the best 3-year-old sprinter in the country after reeling off five consecutive stakes victories. He was less than spectacular between August and October, however, finishing fifth as the 8-5 favorite trying to stretch his speed out to a mile and 70 yards in the $300,000 Smarty Jones and fourth at 2-1 in the six-furlong Gallant Bob, both at Parx Racing.

Given nearly six months off by trainer Mike Stidham, Comedero returned looking as good as ever in a six-furlong stakes restricted to Arkansas-breds at Oaklawn Park last month. He gunned to the lead and romped by 10 3/4 lengths, earning a 100 Beyer that was just one point shy of his career best.

In retrospect, Stidham said he feels Comedero burned himself out during the period when he raced five times between the end of February and the seven-furlong, $400,000 Red Legend at Charles Town in mid-June.

“He really peaked and hit the top of his game in early summer last year,” Stidham said. “He posted an outstanding number near the end of his five-race win streak, and it has been my experience that horses tend to tail off after posting a big number and I think that is what happened to him. He also did quite a bit of traveling from track to track last year, so we gave him a well-deserved rest before bringing him back this season.”

In addition to the Steve Asmussen-trained Rule by Night, who has been idle since taking an overnight stakes at Aqueduct in November, the field includes Nathan’s H Q, who won a restricted stakes at Delaware last fall and comes off a career-top 100 Beyer for his close third-place finish in the Sir Shackleton Handicap at Gulfstream Park; Sneaking Uponyou, a synthetic and turf specialist who responded to the switch to dirt by drawing off to a seven-length score, earning a 99 Beyer, in a restricted stakes at Tampa Bay Downs; and Homerun Berti, who makes the second start of his form cycle after winning a high-priced optional claimer on Keeneland’s Polytrack with a 99 Beyer.