07/12/2012 12:03PM

Delaware Park: Don't overlook Euro imports in Dick Memorial

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Barbara D. Livingston
Starformer is the only member of the Dick Memorial lineup to have won at 1 3/8 miles.

A trio of 4-year-old fillies who began their racing careers in Europe could be live longshots in Saturday’s Grade 3 Robert Dick Memorial Stakes for fillies and mares.

The $200,000 Dick, to be contested at 1 3/8 miles on turf, and the $50,000 Oh Say for 3-year-old sprinters are the undercard stakes on a card headed by the Grade 2, $400,000 Delaware Oaks.

Starformer, who is 6-1 on the track’s morning line, Sikara (8-1), and Dinner’s Out (12-1) all have positive qualities that make them viable alternatives to the top two choices, the 7-year-old Bubbly Jane (5-2) and 5-year-old Senada (7-2).

As a 3-year-old last season, Starformer was beaten just three-quarters of a length in a Group 3 race in France at 1 1/8 miles. She is the lone runner in Saturday’s eight-horse field to own a win at 1 3/8 miles. She scored by three lengths at the distance in February at Gulfstream Park. Edgar Prado, who was aboard that day, comes in to accept the mount for trainer Bill Mott, who won the 2010 Dick with Treat Gently.

Sikara was 2 for 6 in Ireland, then won her United States debut in a one-mile turf race at Delaware in which she came home the final quarter-mile in a swift 23.79 seconds. Her trainer, Graham Motion, has won the Dick six times since 1999.

Dinner’s Out owns a win and two near-misses going 1 3/16 miles on synthetic surfaces in France. She broke slowly and was no factor in her first U.S. start two weeks ago in the Grade 3 Eatontown. She’s liable to improve second time out for Alan Goldberg, who won a pair of Grade 3 turf events, the Eatontown and Gallorette, in similar situations with Social Queen.

Morning-line favorite Bubbly Jane was second in last year’s Dick, a race that trainer Todd Pletcher won in 2005 and 2006 with Honey Ryder. Bubbly Jane makes her second start this season following a runner-up finish in an overnight stakes at Belmont.

Senada, the winner of last fall’s Dowager at Keeneland going 1 1/2 miles, makes her first start since coming to the barn of Jonathan Sheppard, who won the 2008 Dick with Palmilla.

◗ Ancient Rome, who races at Delaware for the first time since taking his maiden by nearly eight lengths last October, and the Jerry Hollendorfer-trained California shipper Reconstruction, coming off a neck victory in his dirt debut in the Livermore Valley Wines Stakes at Pleasanton, are the two most logical horses in a group of seven 3-year-olds going six furlongs in the Oh Say.