06/06/2013 3:26PM

Delaware Park: Bryan's Jewel would welcome wet weather for Rooney Memorial

Tom Keyser
Bryan's Jewel has been part of the exacta in five of her six starts on turf.

Trainer Mac Robertson may be sitting in an ideal situation with his versatile mare Bryan’s Jewel on Saturday at Delaware Park.

The $75,000 John W. Rooney Memorial Stakes for fillies and mares is scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on turf and serves as the local prep for next month’s Grade 3 Robert G. Dick Memorial. But with rain in the forecast, the Rooney Memorial could either be contested on soft grass or shifted to the main track.

Either way, the 5-year-old Bryan’s Jewel should be capable of handling the conditions. First or second in five of her six starts on turf, Bryan’s Jewel shows a win and a close second the last two times she raced on less-than-firm grass. Her last five starts have come on dirt, including a sprint win at Oaklawn Park and a second going 1 1/16 miles in the Winter Melody at Delaware last time out.

Robertson said he will wait until Saturday to determine whether to run Bryan’s Jewel or wait until June  15 for the Grade 3, 1 1/8-mile Obeah, the local prep for the biggest race of Delaware’s season, the Grade  1 Delaware Handicap on July  20.

“She runs well on both turf and dirt, so we can be flexible, but we are also thinking about the Obeah Stakes the following week,” Robertson said.

If the Rooney Memorial remains on turf and the grass isn’t firm, Laughing looks like a serious contender. She finished a close third in last fall’s Grade 3 Athenia on good turf.

Trainer Michael Matz will send out Welcome Dance, a close second going a mile on soft turf in last year’s Dauphin Miss at Penn National.

On dirt, especially if the track is favorable to speed, stretch-out sprinter Srumdiddlyumptious would be dangerous. She was a two-time stakes winner last season and could be primed for a peak effort while making the third start of her form cycle.