09/05/2003 11:00PM

Delaware: House Party ties record


House Party stepped down in class and won the $200,000 Grade 3 Endine Handicap at Delaware Park at short odds, with a perfectly timed stretch move, and in track-record-tying time.

Coming into the Endine off four consecutive starts in Grade 1's or Grade 2's - two of them victories at Belmont Park, in the Prioress in July and the Nassau County Breeders' Cup in May - House Party moved from fourth place toward the leaders leaving the turn. She closed fast outside three rivals, and ran down stretch-leader Vision in Flight to win by a measured length.

House Party, ridden by Jose Santos and trained by Allen Jerkens, ran the six furlongs in 1:08.20 and paid $3.60. The record House Party tied was set by Damitrius on Sept. 2, 1980.

"Had I known she was going to equal the track record, I probably would have pushed her a little bit and she probably would have broken it," Santos said. "To tie that kind of record is something special, especially for a 3-year-old."

Wilzada, the 2-1 second choice, broke in a tangle, showed early speed, and tired to finish last in the field of eight. Mandy's Gold, a million-dollar earner who figured to be bet, was scratched.