07/10/2012 12:28PM

Delaware: Rescheduled Par Four filled with lightly raced juveniles


The cast of characters may have changed slightly after last Saturday’s $50,000 Par Four overnight stakes for 2-year-olds was redrawn and rescheduled for Thursday at Delaware Park. But it remains a hard to decipher puzzle for handicappers.

Five of the nine colts and geldings entered in Thursday’s ninth race are fresh from winning their career debuts by at least three lengths, so there are a lot of different directions a handicapper could go in trying to pick the right horse.

On the Go and Pitch N Roll are the two most intriguing starters in the 5  1/2-furlong Par Four, which was originally part of last Saturday’s program which was cancelled due to intense heat and humidity.

On the Go was claimed by Tim Ritchey for $20,000 out of an eight-length win in his career debut and comes back less than three weeks later. In those situations, Ritchey is 3 for 9 with an $11.77 return on investment, a statistic inflated by Economic Bailout’s score at 41-1 in February 2011 at Oaklawn Park.

Pitch N Roll has been racing and training on the Tapeta at Presque Isle Downs, where he drew clear by 4 1/2 lengths in his first start. Notably, owner-breeder The Elkstone Group is one of trainer Ron Potts’s main clients. He is 5 for 26 (19 percent) with a $2.76 ROI with Elkstone-owned 2-year-olds the last two years. In addition, Potts upset the 2010 running of the Par Four at 10-1 with second-time starter Affluence.

The best last-race Beyer Speed Figure in the Par Four belongs to The Absolute One, who was no secret when he was unveiled and romped by seven lengths, earning a 66 Beyer as the 8-5 favorite on June 17 at Delaware.

The two other debut winners making their first start against winners are Rehab Mo and Cousin Brucy. Rehab Mo scored by three lengths locally on May  31. The three horses from that race who have come back all lost, and trainer Randy Nunley is 0 for 8 with 2-year-old second-time starters.

Cousin Brucy cruised by six lengths against $20,000 maiden claimers. His trainer, Hamilton Smith, is 0 for 11 with 2-year-old second-time starters.

Among a trio of new entrants, the most interesting is Shockman, who ships in from Texas after a pair of restricted races at Lone Star Park. Despite his high overall win percentage, trainer Bret Calhoun is just 1 for 12 shipping into Delaware Park.