09/03/2013 12:49PM

Delaware Park: Divorce Party, Son of Sparta have edge at distance

Barbara D. Livingston
Divorce Party was a $180,000 purchase at last year’s September yearling sale at Keeneland.

Recent maiden winners Divorce Party and Son of Sparta may have a significant advantage over their six opponents in Thursday’s $50,000 Whirling Ash Stakes for 2-year-olds at Delaware Park.

Unlike their rivals, who will all be stretching out from either five furlongs or 5 1/2 furlongs, Divorce Party and Son of Sparta both have a pair of two-turn races – and a victory going long – under their belts coming into Thursday’s mile-and-70-yard race on the main track.

Divorce Party, a $180,000 purchase at last year’s September yearling sale at Keeneland, rallied from last of seven, 11 lengths behind after the first half-mile, to win by 1 1/4 lengths going the same distance as he will be asked to go Thursday. Alan Garcia comes in from out of town to ride Divorce Party for the first time.

From the barn of high-percentage trainer Graham Motion, Divorce Party is a son of Broken Vow, whose notable offspring include Cyber Secret, winner of the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap at 1 1/8 miles and Grade 3 Razorback Handicap at 1 1/16 miles, and Lady Cohiba, who won Monday’s 1 1/8-mile Glens Falls at Saratoga.

Son of Sparta is part of an uncoupled entry for trainer Gennadi Dorochenko with Tashir. Son of Sparta will be returning just eight days after winning his maiden by a half-length in his third lifetime start. Dorochenko is 0 for his last 9 with last-out maiden winners returning in less than 10 days.

Son of Sparta’s sire, City Zip, is also the sire of Dayatthespa, winner of the 1 1/16-mile Yaddo at Saratoga this summer.

Among those horses trying a route for the first time, the most intriguing is Interchange. He won his career debut sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs on Aug. 3, earning a 67 Beyer Speed Figure that is the best in Thursday’s field. Two of the three horses who have raced back out of that field ran well, with fifth-place Jessthemarine, who is part of Thursday’s Whirling Ash lineup, drawing clear to win by 3 3/4 lengths with a 64 Beyer on Aug. 22, and sixth-place Curlin’s Kid finishing second in a mile-and-70-yard route for maidens.