08/05/2005 11:00PM

Delaware: 'Thermal' set up perfectly


Owner Michael Gill couldn't have planned it better. Clay's Rocket went out winging in the $55,000 Make Me Conquer at Delaware Park, setting the table for her entrymate, Thermal Ablasion, who rallied from fourth down the backstretch for a three-quarter-length victory.

Valley of the Gods rallied for second, another three-quarters in front of Clay's Rocket, who took third among the seven fillies and mares in the six-furlong race.

Clay's Rocket was probably the reason the entry went off at 8-5. She had earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 95 in winning her last start and was the clear speed of the field. But Annika Lass hounded her through fractions of 22.22 seconds and 45.07, and she didn't have enough left in the stretch to hold off her entrymate.

Thermal Ablasion, trained by Tim Hooper and ridden by Mario Pino, had not won a race since last September and was coming off a second in a three-horse stakes at Monmouth and a head loss in a Charles Town allowance.

Thermal Ablasion, a 6-year-old mare by Unusual Heat, paid $5.40 and covered the six furlongs in 1:10.28.