09/12/2007 11:00PM

Delaware: Rubber match for sprinters

EmailScary Bob and Magical Gem, who have taken turns winning this same stakes the past two years, square off again in the first of two restricted $75,000 stakes at Delaware Park.

Both six-furlong races, the Delaware Certified (race 6) and the Delaware Certified Distaff (race 7), are limited to horses who were stabled in the state of Delaware for at least 90 days before turning 2 years old.

Scary Bob, a 6-year-old based at Finger Lakes with trainer Chris Englehart, was third as the even-money favorite in this same spot in 2005 and got up by a neck over a sloppy track as the 9-5 second choice last year. He comes into this year's running in sharp form after winning a New York-bred stakes at his home track last month.

Magical Gem, who won this race in 2005 and was third at 14-1 in 2006, has run his best this season when entered for a $25,000 claiming price. Last time out, he earned a 98 Beyer in a wire-to-wire romp at Delaware.

The horse to beat, however, looks like the speedy Secretintelligence, part of a coupled entry for trainer Tim Ritchey. A winner of three straight, including a $100,000 stakes restricted to Pennsylvania-breds last time out, Secretintelligence was scratched out of statebred stakes worth $60,000 last Saturday at Philadelphia Park.

In the Distaff, the 3-year-old Adorable Jane cuts back to a sprint after improving her Beyer nearly 20 points when she was stretched out to a mile for her first start against winners a month ago. If Adorable Jane, trained by Richard Dutrow Jr., doesn't bounce, she should dominate her six rivals.

Her chief challenger appears to be the New York-based Carolina Fuego, who was claimed out of a good race for $40,000 three starts ago, but hasn't run nearly as well in her first two starts for trainer Leah Gyarmati against high-priced optional claimers.