07/03/2002 11:00PM

Delaware Park: Mandy still sprinting


Trainer Mike Gorham continues to think about stretching out Mandy's Gold, but she will still be sprinting as the favorite in Saturday's $100,000 Sweet 'n Sassy Stakes at Delaware.

In fact, the 4-year-old Mandy's Gold will be cutting back to six furlongs after winning the seven-furlong, Grade 3 Chicago Breeders' Cup Handicap at Arlington last month.

Gorham said he believes Mandy's Gold, winner of 6 of 11 lifetime starts, can handle a mile. The only time she tried the distance, in last year's Grade 3 Comely at Aqueduct, Mandy's Gold led from gate to wire, but was disqualified and placed second.

Mandy's Gold is ready to run after nearly a month since her last start. The Sweet 'n Sassy, Gorham explained, was the best option he could find. "We still would like to stretch her back out, but there is nothing really going a flat mile right now for her," Gorham said.

The chief threat to Mandy's Gold may be Trip, a New York-based mare from Shug McGaughey's barn. Last year, Trip was a four-time winner, including two graded stakes. She hasn't been nearly as sharp in three starts this year, but comes off a confidence-building win in an allowance race at Monmouth Park.

The Tim Ritchey-trained Madame Roar is a threat to lead wire to wire. She has won 3 of 5 starts this season.

Kimbralata could be the sleeper in the seven-horse field. She has been favored in each of her last four starts, but won only twice during that span, both times coming from off the pace.

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