06/05/2002 11:00PM

Easier spot for Preakness pair


Chasing War Emblem once was apparently enough for Easyfromthegitgo and Menacing Dennis. After taking a beating in the Preakness three weeks ago, both 3-year-old colts are taking aim at slightly easier company in Saturday's $250,000 Leonard Richards Stakes at Delaware Park.

Easyfromthegitgo, second in the Louisiana Derby and third in the Lexington, earned a career-best 104 Beyer Speed Figure when he finished a respectable fifth, beaten just 3 1/4 lengths, in the Preakness. His regular rider, Donnie Meche, will ride for trainer Steve Asmussen.

Menacing Dennis dueled for the lead through the first six furlongs of the Preakness before stopping badly. He's likely to face a similar fight for the lead in the Grade 3 Richards from speedballs such as locally based Roger E and the Nick Zito-trained Bag of Mischief.

The 1 1/16-mile Richards will be a major class test for unbeaten Running Tide, who puts his 4 for 4 record on the line for trainer Rodney Jenkins. Both of Running Tide's races this season have been sprints, including a win in the Legal Light at Delaware on May 25 in which he earned a 99 Beyer.

"I really don't have any concerns about going from six furlongs to a mile and a sixteenth," Jenkins said. "I think he can handle it. My only concern is running him back in two weeks after a big effort. He's done everything we have asked him, but let's face it, he's never met these type of horses before."

Also on the card is the $75,000 Rosenna, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for fillies and mares. The field includes three horses who finished within 1 1/2 lengths of each other in the Grade 3 Gallorette Handicap at Pimlico two weeks ago, including winner Quidnaskra and runner-up De Aar, plus Al Desima, third behind Janet and Tranquility Lake in last fall's Grade 1 Yellow Ribbon at Santa Anita.

Motion resists temptation

Equality's most recent workout, a five-furlong breeze in 59.60 seconds, was so impressive that trainer H. Graham Motion was tempted to put up the $4,000 necessary to supplement him to the Richards Stakes on the main track.

Motion decided against it, however, and will stick to his original plan of having Equality make his turf debut in an overnight stakes, the $55,000 Gleaming at 1 1/16 miles, on Tuesday.

Motion also said he intends to point 3-year-old filly Alternate, winner of the Go for Wand Stakes, to the $175,000 Susan's Girl Breeders' Cup on June 29, the last local prep for the Grade 3 Delaware Oaks on July 20.