09/15/2012 3:00PM

Delaware Park: Fugitive Angel finds comfortable spot for comeback race


At first glance, it hardly seems possible that multiple stakes winner Fugitive Angel would be eligible to run in Monday’s featured seventh race at Delaware Park, a third-level optional $75,000 claimer scheduled for 7 1/2 furlongs on turf.

After all, the 5-year-old Fugitive Angel has six lifetime victories – five of them in stakes – including the Grade 3 Valley View at Keeneland in October 2010. Trainer Jonathan Sheppard certainly isn’t going to risk losing Fugitive Angel, whose bankroll is $353,072, by running her for a $75,000 tag.

True, the conditions of the race state that it is open to fillies and mares who have not won three races other than maiden, claiming, or starter. But there’s one other clause – restricted races don’t count.

So because three of Fugitive Angel’s stakes wins have come against Pennsylvania-breds, those victories don’t affect her eligibility.

Fugitive Angel will be making her first start since last October, when she was fourth as the 9-5 favorite in an allowance on Polytrack at Keeneland. Sheppard isn’t very successful bringing back long layoff types in turf allowance events – he’s just 2 for 28 the past five years.

Sheppard also entered the coupled pair of Cougar at Heart and Armarante. Both were cross-entered in a third-level optional $40,000 claimer on dirt at Parx on Sunday.

If Fugitive Angel is rusty from her long layoff, New York shipper Arch Support and 121-pound highweight Rinella Bay are capable of winning in this spot.

Arch Support, who has been training at Saratoga for Gary Contessa, won a second-level optional $62,500 claimer at Gulfstream at 31-1 odds in March, but has failed to finish better than fourth in four subsequent starts. Her last good race did come at a mile, close to the distance of Monday’s race.

Rinella Bay, who cleared her second allowance condition via a disqualification in June at Penn National, shows a win by a neck and a second by a neck the last two times she has raced at 7 1/2 furlongs on turf.

War Prospector has been flashing high speed and stopping in slightly longer events. She may improve with the addition of blinkers. War Prospector, from the high-percentage barn of Juan Vasquez, led through the first mile of the nine-furlong, Grade 3 Herecomesthebride at Gulfstream in March 2011.