10/04/2012 2:34PM

Delaware Park: Cross-entered Pletcher runner stands between Vegas No Show and Dover winner's circle

Tom Keyser
Trainer Todd Pletcher has cross-entered Micromanage in the Dover Stakes and the Champagne at Belmont Park.

Trainer Todd Pletcher is holding the trump card for Saturday’s $75,000 Dover Stakes at Delaware Park. The only question is whether he plans to use it.

Among the 10 2-year-olds entered in the mile and 70-yard Dover, the Pletcher-trained Micromanage is by far the fastest horse. Micromanage cruised to a five-length victory and earned an 84 Beyer Speed Figure in a seven-furlong maiden race a month ago at Saratoga. The sixth-place finisher came back to win a maiden race on turf at Delaware with an 80 Beyer.

Pletcher has cross-entered Micromanage in the Grade 1, $400,000 Champagne at Belmont Park, where he would be a contender as well.

Without Micromanage in the lineup, the Dover looks like a wide-open race among nine runners, including a pair of coupled entries.

The horse to beat may be Vegas No Show, part of a George and Lori Hall-owned entry. Vegas No Show won his first start around two turns at Delaware in late July, then was ambitiously spotted in the Grade 2 Hopeful at Saratoga, where he was never in contention while finishing sixth of eight. His trainer, Kelly Breen, is 2 for 3 with 2-year-olds returning from a break of 31 to 60 days while switching from sprints to routes.

Tour Guide ran well in a pair of fast maiden sprints at Monmouth Park, essentially pairing up Beyers of 74 and 73. His sire, Broken Vow, won the Grade 2 Meadowlands Cup and the Grade 3 Fayette, both at 1 1/8 miles. From a small sampling, trainer Bret Calhoun is 0 for 3 with 2-year-olds making their first route attempt following a maiden victory.

Vegas No Show is coupled with Hoofing Cat, who successfully handled two turns last time out against maidens at Delaware.

Keep the Canoli’s only loss in three starts came when he tried sprinting on turf in the Tyro at Monmouth. His most recent race produced a three-length victory going a one-turn mile at Laurel Park.

Seventeenohsix also won his maiden last time out going a mile and 70 yards at Delaware. He is cross-entered in the six-furlong Maryland Million Nursery at Laurel.

Stratocruiser has route experience, winning a slowly run maiden event going two turns at Delaware and improving his Beyer slightly in his first try against winners in a one-turn mile at Laurel.

Four colts who have placed in the Dover have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby the following year. Count Turf won the Dover in 1950; Carry Back finished second in 1960; Foolish Pleasure won in 1974; and Spectacular Bid finished second in 1978.