05/19/2011 2:16PM

Delaware Park: Ruthenia lands in softer spot in Pike Creek


Ruthenia, unbeaten in two starts at 2 but a disappointment when she stepped up to face graded stakes competition in her 3-year-old debut last month, will try to regain her form in the $50,000, 7 1/2-furlong Pike Creek, the first turf stakes of the season at Delaware Park.

After winning her maiden and the 1 1/16-mile Good Mood last October at Belmont Park, Ruthenia, a full sister to Rutherienne, an eight-time graded stakes winner with earnings of $1.29 million, was given the winter off. She was well backed at 4-1 in her comeback in the Grade 3 Appalachian at Keeneland on April 21, but was a dull 10th, fading far back throughout the one-mile race.

On the plus side, her trainer, Christophe Clement, is 6 for 13 (46 percent) with turf runners making their second start off an extended layoff in non-graded stakes contested at distances between seven furlongs and one mile.

Cryptocandiac returns to turf, where she is a head shy of being 2 for 2, after her last two starts were moved from grass to the main track. She is part of an uncoupled entry for trainer Mike Stidham with Snow Fall, who earned a big 91 Beyer Speed Figure winning her maiden in an off-the-turf race last time out at Fair Grounds and would benefit if the race gets moved to the main track. Rosie Napravnik, last year’s leading rider at Delaware, is named on both parts of Stidham’s entry.

The field also includes two fillies from high-percentage barns who flashed high speed before fading in longer races last time out. War Prospector led for the first mile of the nine-furlong, Grade 3 Herecomesthebride at Gulfstream Park. Classy Zip was in front through the first seven furlongs of a one-mile overnight handicap at Tampa Bay Downs.