10/04/2010 2:53PM

Delp Memorial tough spot for classy comebackers

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Adam Coglianese
The Delp Memorial attracted the graded stakes winners Arson Squad (above), Win Willy, and Our Edge.

The Buddy Delp Memorial isn’t even part of Delaware Park’s regular stakes schedule. Despite its modest $50,000 purse, the overnight stakes on Wednesday’s card attracted three horses who have finished first in a Grade 3 stakes within the past 15 months.

The millionaire 7-year-old Arson Squad, joined by 4-year-olds Win Willy and Our Edge, provide more than a touch of class to a six-horse field for the 1 1/16-mile Delp, named in honor of the Hall of Fame trainer who shares the track record with Scott Lake for most consecutive leading trainer titles with seven from 1963 to 1969.

All three horses with back class are coming off a layoff, most notably Win Willy, who has been off since finishing second in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap on April 3. Prior to that, Win Willy won the Grade  3 Razorback at Oaklawn Park, but was disqualified for testing positive for having two non-steroidal anti-inflamatory medications in his system, one more than is permissible in Arkansas. He has been working steadily at Delaware for his comeback with six published workouts since early August.

The last time Win Willy returned from an extended break, he won a high-priced optional claimer at Oaklawn with a 101 Beyer Speed Figure.

Arson Squad, winner of the Grade 3 Skip Away at Gulfstream and Grade 3 Alysheba at Churchill Downs in back-to-back starts in April, was given a break after finishing fifth of seven in the listed Majestic Light at Monmouth Par on Aug. 1. He worked a bullet five furlongs in 58.80 seconds last Saturday at Aqueduct for trainer Rick Dutrow.

Our Edge, a confirmed front-runner, has a 2-for-3 record at Delaware, including the Grade  3 Barbaro in July  2009. Based in New York with trainer Nick Zito, Our Edge is just 1 for 7 this season and comes off a nearly 17-length trouncing in the Grade 3 Iselin at Monmouth on Aug. 21.