08/23/2006 11:00PM

Delaware: Sequoia King tries again


Sequoia King has yet to return much on the $525,000 investment owner Jess Jackson made at last year's Fasig-Tipton yearling sale at Saratoga. After easily winning his maiden at Keeneland this past April, Sequoia King has failed to win in three stakes starts, including twice as the favorite.

Despite his shortcomings, Sequoia King figures to be favored when he faces six other largely unproven 2-year-olds in Saturday's $54,000 Par Four Stakes at Delaware Park.

Sequoia King had a legitimate excuse for his sixth-place finish as the 2-1 favorite in the Grade 3 Kentucky Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs. He tried to wheel at the start, dropped back to 12th and last, then passed five horses in the stretch.

Sent to Southern California for the Willard Proctor, where he was the 3-5 favorite, Sequoia King dueled for the lead for a half-mile, then faded to sixth and last.

In his most recent start, the Prairie Gold Juvenile on July 4, Sequoia King improved enough to finish a close second to Bella Shambrock, a colt who came back to romp by eight lengths in the $60,000 Tyro at Monmouth Park on July 29.

Gonetoground, the field's only two-time winner, and Eternal Star, who owns the best Beyer Speed Figure, an 84 for his 5 1/2-length win over maidens three weeks ago, are Sequoia King's chief competition in the six-furlong Par Four.

Gonetoground beat maidens and first-level allowance runners locally before apparently disliking the sloppy track he encountered in the $126,000 Colin at Woodbine.

Eternal Star improved 34 points on the Beyer scale last time out, when he came from fourth to crush nine rivals. He will again meet up with Cash Rich, a colt who beat him by four lengths last month.