09/14/2013 12:15PM

Delaware Park: Vegas No Show at favorite venue for Ricci Tavi Stakes

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Barbara D. Livingston
Vegas No Show has two wins and a runner-up finish in three starts at Delaware Park.

Vegas No Show has demonstrated his fondness for the main track at Delaware Park with two wins and a near-miss in three visits. So, it seems logical to expect another good performance when Vegas No Show ships in from his base at Monmouth Park for Monday’s $50,000 Ricci Tavi Stakes for 3-year-olds.

The race covers one mile and 70 yards and drew a field of 11, including the coupled entry of Vegas No Show and Kentucky Pie for trainer Kelly Breen and owners George and Lori Hall.

Both of Vegas No Show’s career victories came last year at Delaware, where he cleared his maiden condition and won the Dover Stakes by a nose. He held the lead at the eighth pole but was nosed out for the win as the 6-5 favorite in a third-level allowance locally July 4.

If not for that near-miss, Breen’s record shpping into Delaware this season would be even better than his current mark of 5 for 11 (45 percent). Over the past two years, Breen is 13 for 38 (34 percent) with horses he has brought to Delaware.

Breen’s second entrant, Kentucky Pie, also looks dangerous. In his last two starts on dirt, both in races taken off the turf, Kentucky Pie has romped by a combined margin of 29 lengths. He will be stepping up in class off an easy win in a first-level optional $16,000 claimer locally Aug. 28.

Smash and Grab will be racing for the third time in 24 days, but short rest was no problem when he stretched out from four furlongs to a mile to take the Nick Shuk Memorial by four lengths Aug. 29. Smash and Grab’s 89 Beyer Speed Figure that day and the 94 he earned for a sprint win against $30,000 claimers in July are the two best numbers in Monday’s field. He, too, is a horse for the course, with a 4-for-6 record at Delaware.

Southern Beach, unbeaten in three starts sprinting, steps up sharply in class and races beyond six furlongs for the first time. He likely will be hard-used early to gain position in the short run to the first turn after breaking from the far-outside post.

Handsome Tiger, third in the Grade 3 Ohio Derby, and Stratocruiser, sixth in the Grade 2 West Virginia Derby, both get class relief. In his most recent local appearance, Stratocruiser missed by a neck in the Bud Delp Memorial going the same distance as Monday’s race.