09/09/2004 12:00AM

Ex-claimer Electrical Carlita takes shot


Horses don't ordinarily run for a $20,000 claiming tag and move up to graded stakes company four months later. But trainer Scott Lake hasn't won with 29 percent of his starters at Delaware Park by misplacing his stock. If Lake thinks enough of Electrical Carlita to enter her in Saturday's Grade 3, $200,000 Endine, a six-furlong stakes for fillies and mares, horseplayers ought to take the horse seriously.

The Endine is one of three stakes on Delaware's 12th annual Owners' Day card, which drew 140 entries for 13 races worth a cumulative $708,000.

Electrical Carlita, a 4-year-old filly who has won four of her last five starts at Delaware, will find out if her front-running speed is good enough in a field that includes heavy hitters Ebony Breeze and Bronze Abe.

Ebony Breeze, trained by Bill Mott, comes off a nose loss in the Grade 2 Honorable Miss at Saratoga. Bronze Abe has won four stakes already this year, including two at Delaware.

As recently as May, Lake risked losing Electrical Carlita for $20,000, but got no takers that day and she romped by 5 1/2 lengths.

"At the time that was what she was worth," Lake said. "We got her in a nice soft spot where she won a race, and it picked her head up. She just needed something to build her confidence, and when she won that race, it really made a difference with her. She has just been really good since."

According to Lake, a chronic bleeding problem prevented Electrical Carlita from running to her full potential last season, when she won 2 of 9 starts and was second five times.

"We knew she had a lot a talent, but she was not giving it to us because of her bleeding," Lake said. "We turned her out last year because she was bleeding real bad, and the time off healed her up."

Since winning on May 23, Electrical Carlita has three more victories and two seconds while improving her Beyer Speed Figures from a 78 to a 91 last time out. The Endine will be her first stakes appearance since she finished far back in the JJ'sdream as a 2-year-old at Calder.

Country Be Gold favored to repeat

In last year's Owners' Day Handicap, Country Be Gold cruised by 1 3/4 lengths as the 2-1 favorite, and the 7-year-old figures to be favored again in this year's running against seven rivals going 1 1/8 miles for a purse of $75,000.

One live longshot could be Distinct Vision, who had an excuse for his last-place finish in his most recent start. "After the race we found out he lost one of his front shoes," said trainer Mike Pino. "When he came out of the gate, he made a little hop, so it could have happened right there. He probably could not get any footing on the track, especially since it was kind of like a slick, wet-fast track."

Rosenberger: Wide-open turf race

There's no clear-cut favorite in the $75,000 George Rosenberger, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for fillies and mares.

The contenders include Mystery Itself, first or second in her last three starts at Delaware and Grade 3-placed last season, and A Queen's Smile, a deep closer who was beaten less than three lengths in her last race, against stakes company in July.

The X factor is Misty Sixes, who has been entered with the hope the race might be moved to the main track. Trainer Steve Klesaris said Misty Sixes may still run if the turf, where she is 1 for 2 lifetime, is firm rather than soft.