09/07/2006 12:00AM

Endine Handicap Preview


Delaware Park - Race 11
Endine Handicap (Grade 3) 6 Furlongs
3-year-olds and upward, fillies and mares
Purse $200,000.

The Larry Jones-trained entry of Hello Liberty and Miss Elsie may own a bit of a class edge over their rivals in the Endine. The former won the Grade 2 Nassau County Breeders' Cup at Belmont three starts back before being nosed out in the Grade 1 Acorn by subsequent Mother Goose winner Bushfire. She never picked up her feet, however, in the Grade 1 Test at Saratoga last time out, and will have to tackle older foes for the first time in her career on Saturday. Hello Liberty already has a stakes win over the Delaware main track on her record, and could improve in the second start of the form cycle.

Miss Elsie may have been aided by a speed-favoring track when a close third in the Grade 2 Honorable Miss at Saratoga, but hasn't finished out of the trifecta in her last seven starts, and may sit a nice stalking trip from just off the pace. A stakes-winner over this track, Miss Elsie is capable of putting up a mid-90 Beyer Speed Figure.

Although Hot Storm came from just off the pace to win a stakes race at Mountaineer in her most recent outing, she has excellent early speed, and may attempt to take these on a gate-to-wire journey. Hot Storm finished third in the Grade 1 Princess Rooney Handicap, a key race, two starts back at Calder, and the consistent filly should be prominent when the field swings into the stretch. She seems well-spotted at this level, and should be used in exotics and multi-race wagers.

Thats Our Song proved no match for Miss Elsie when they met on July 16 at Delaware, but the daughter of Thats Our Buck runs very well fresh, and would benefit greatly if there is a speed duel up front. A four-time winner at Delaware, Thats Our Song offers value at 10-1 on the track's morning line.

Ebony Breeze won this race in 2004, and finished third in last year's Endine. Trained by Bill Mott, Ebony Breeze also runs well fresh, but will have to tote 123 lbs. She may not be the same mare that was putting up 100 Beyer Speed Figures in 2005, but was still good enough to win a Grade 3 at Arlington two starts back. If she goes off at a square price, consider putting her on some tickets.

1. Hello Liberty, Miss Elsie, Hot Storm