06/20/2011 2:36PM

Delaware Park: Two coming off top figures


Ponzi Scheme and Eighttofasttocatch, who posted identical career-best Beyer Speed Figures of 103 while winning stakes in their most recent starts on dirt, ship to Delaware Park for Wednesday’s $50,000 Joseph French Stakes at a mile and 70 yards on the main track.

Claimed for $20,000 last August, the 4-year-old Ponzi Scheme delivered the best performance of his 23-race career on Memorial Day at Monmouth Park when he grabbed the lead in he 1 1/16-mile Skip Away and wired four rivals, including 1-10 favorite Christmas Liam, to win by three lengths. The 103 Beyer was 19 points higher than his previous race, a win in a second-level optional $32,000 claimer at Tampa Bay Downs, and 13 points better than his previous high of 90 for winning a second-level optional $25,000 claimer at Penn National last November.

Ponzi Scheme, based at Monmouth with trainer Juan Serey, may not get an uncontested lead in the French, thanks to the presence of Riversrunrylee on the rail and Good General just to his outside in post 4.

There’s also a speed threat from Eighttofasttocatch, a 5-year-old who stalked and pounced to win the 1 1/8-mile Harrison Johnson at Laurel Park in March with the best Beyer in his 24-race career. Last time out, Eighttofasttocatch was ambitiously spotted in the Grade 2 Dixie on turf and finished last. He should be far more effective returning to dirt, where he is 4 for 13 lifetime.

The main threat to the two logical favorites is Double Threat, who went 3 for 3 at Delaware as a 3-year-old last season. Claimed by trainer Ron Moquett for $65,000 in February, Double Threat faces softer company for his first start since early April, following a close fourth in the Grade 3 Razorback Handicap and a distant sixth in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap.

Moquett also has a second separate entry, Just a Coincidence, who makes his first stakes appearance since the Grade 3 Withers in 2009. He steps up in class off a six-length score going a mile locally in mid-May.

The eight-horse field also includes Edgewater, winner of last September’s Governor’s Day at Delaware. He shortens up to a more favorable distance after running last of six in the 1 1/4-mile One Count at Belmont. The runner-up from that race, Birdrun, came back to win the Grade 2 Brooklyn Handicap earlier this month.