07/13/2009 11:00PM

Familiar rivals meet again in Oaks


Trainers Larry Jones and Tim Ritchey, who won the last two runnings of the Delaware Oaks, will send out prominent contenders again in Saturday s 58th edition of the Grade 2 race for 3-year-old fillies at Delaware Park.

Payton d Oro, trained by Jones, and Bon Jovi Girl, trained and partially owned by Ritchey, will meet for the third time this season. They took turns beating each other in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico two months ago and the local prep for the $250,000 Delaware Oaks, the $125,000 Susan s Girl on June 20.

Payton d Oro and Bon Jovi Girl head a group of seven entered Tuesday for the 1 1/16-mile Oaks, one of three stakes for Thoroughbreds on Saturday s 10-race card. Delaware s biggest weekend of the season continues Sunday with three more stakes, highlighted by the $1 million Delaware Handicap.

Payton d Oro went wire to wire to defeat Bon Jovi Girl by 1 1/4 lengths in the Black-Eyed Susan. Bon Jovi Girl turned the tables, whipping Payton d Oro by eight lengths over a sloppy track in the Susan s Girl.

Jones won last year s Oaks with Proud Spell. Ritchey scored two years ago with Moon Catcher.

The field also includes Livin Lovin, winner of last fall s Grade 3 Tempted; Malibu Prayer, a distant second to Rachel Alexandra in the Grade 1 Mother Goose; Canadian shipper Careless Jewel, who makes her first start on dirt following back-to-back wins by a combined margin of nearly 11 lengths; and Missunitednations, a Philadelphia Park-based runner who has been first or second in 5 of 7 lifetime starts.

The longshot looks like Sweet Golden Carol, who ships in from Southern California for trainer Doug O Neill after winning a maiden race on Hollywood Park s Cushion Track last month.

* Winter View, a Grade 3 winner in her last two starts, faces Grade 3 winner Dress Rehearsal and seven other fillies and mares in the Grade 3 Robert Dick Memorial at 1 3/8 miles on turf.

* Researcher, winner of the $615,000 Charles Town Classic in April, and Acting Zippy, a three-time stakes winner this season, are among eight older runners slated to go 1 1/16 miles in the $100,000 R.R.M. Carpenter Memorial.

* Dixies Valentine, a 20-length winner of a Grade 1 stakes at odds of 1-20 last time out, looks formidable in the first running of the $30,000 Delaware Park Arabian Distaff Handicap for Arabian fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles.