10/11/2012 2:40PM

Delaware Park: Eve Giselle difficult to figure in Endine Stakes


Eve Giselle won last year’s Endine Stakes for female sprinters at Delaware Park when it was still a Grade 3 event, matching her career best with a 99 Beyer Speed Figure. In more than 12 months since then, the now 5-year-old Eve Giselle has raced just once, fading to fourth in an optional $50,000 claimer at Laurel Park and earning a 78 Beyer that was her lowest since her 3-year-old debut in January 2010.

So which version of Eve Giselle are fans likely to see when she makes her second start off an extended layoff in Saturday’s $100,000 Endine at six furlongs? That’s difficult to gauge.

The Tim Ritchey-trained Eve Giselle owns a 3-for-3 record at Delaware, including last summer’s Sweet ‘n Sassy. She has posted four bullet workouts over the local surface since late July, including a five-furlong breeze in 58.40 seconds on Sept. 13.

But Eve Giselle didn’t run to her works when she returned from her 13-month absence on Sept. 21. She dueled up front for five furlongs before weakening in the final eighth of a mile. She has not had a recorded workout since then.

Statistically, female sprinters making their second start off a layoff are not one of Ritchey’s strengths. He is just 2 for 13 in that category the past two years, including second- and third-place finishes by Eve Giselle.

Among the other eight fillies and mares in the Endine lineup, the two most intriguing are an uncoupled entry from New York-based trainer Mike Hushion. His 5-year-old mare Nicole H has had a frustrating season. She has lost seven straight since opening her 2012 campaign with back-to-back stakes victories over Aqueduct’s inner track. But during her losing streak, Nicole H has twice missed by a neck at the Grade 2 level and was second, beaten a half-length, in the Grade 1 Princess Rooney.

Last time out, she rallied belatedly to get second behind front-running winner Guam Typhoon while facing males in the Changing Times at Penn National.

Hushion will also saddle the less-heralded Roman Treasure, a 4-year-old whose only win in three starts this year came in a restricted stakes at Belmont in July. She flashed high early speed and tired last time out in the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom.

Statistically, second time off the layoff for female sprinters is one of Hushion’s best categories. He shows a 9-for-17 record (53 percent) in that category the past two seasons.