08/24/2002 12:00AM

Double Cat lands in surprisingly tough Quill


Trainer Neil Drysdale may have thought he had found an easy spot for Double Cat to make her stakes debut in Tuesday's $55,000 Quill at Delaware Park. But the overnight stakes, which will be run at one mile on the turf, came up far tougher than Drysdale may have suspected.

Stakes winners Lady of the Future, Shag, and Rhum - all of whom have been posting Beyer Speed Figures in the mid-90's - are among the horses Double Cat must face in the Quill.

Double Cat is no slouch herself. She's 3 for 3 in her career on grass, including wins this season at Belmont and Hollywood. But she has yet to run at a level higher than a two-other-than allowance and her best Beyer is an 88. She will either have to show substantial improvement or hope all the other logical contenders fail to fire.

Lady of the Future's season highlight came in the 1 1/8-mile New Castle Handicap at Delaware on June 24, a race she won with a 95 Beyer.

Rhum has been no worse than second in her three starts this season, including a win in Delaware's Roseanna, in which she earned a 93 Beyer. She posted her best speed figure of the season, a 96, when she finished second in the Dr. James Penny Memorial at Philadelphia Park in late June.

Shag is a two-time winner on turf this season, having posted a 96 Beyer in the Beautiful Day at Delaware in July and most recently winning an optional claimer at Laurel Park that was worth a 95 Beyer.

Black gets 4,500th victory

Anthony Black has spent much of his long career as a jockey riding run-of-the-mill claiming horses. He reached a career milestone Saturday in a $200,000 stakes.

Black picked up a mount late on Revved Up for trainer Christophe Clement and guided the 4-year-old gelding to victory in the Caesar Rodney Handicap at Delaware Park.

It was Black's 4,500th victory in a career that began in 1970 at now-defunct Liberty Bell Park in Philadelphia.

"It puts a nice light on your whole career that I just didn't win only the claiming races, even though they were the bread and butter," Black said. "I guess it shows I'm not just a cheap claimer."

Black, who will turns 51 on Sept. 4, said he would like to stick around long enough to reach 5,000.

"I would like to do it in three or four years. If it does not happen, that's all right," he said. "My career feels like it has been a success up to this point and whatever I do from here is gravy. But I still feel good riding and I think I can reach 5,000."

Revved Up ($18.20) covered 1 1/8 miles over a yielding turf course in 1:51.02. Black sat patiently with his mount for the first six furlongs, then asked him to move coming around the far turn. Revved Up drew clear from a pack of horses and finished 4 1/2 lengths in front of runner-up Rochester.

Navesink, the 2-1 favorite, never threatened and finished fifth in the field of eight older horses.