05/19/2010 11:00PM

Firepole hot off debut win


A filly who won her career debut at Keeneland returned to win the season's first stakes for 2-year-olds at Delaware Park last weekend. That pattern could well be repeated this Saturday when Firepole, a winner first time out at Keeneland last month, heads a field of eight 2-year-old colts and geldings in the $50,000 Par Four Stakes at Delaware Park.

Fire Pole, purchased for $50,000 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's 2-year-olds in training sale in February by the prominent Dogwood Stable, won by a half-length as the 2-1 favorite on Keeneland's Polytrack going the same 4 1/2 furlongs as he will race on Saturday.

The runner-up from Firepole's maiden victory, Madman Diaries, came back to win at Woodbine on May 9, earning a respectable 73 Beyer Speed Figure.

Maryland-based trainer John Salzman, whose filly Twelve Pack Shelly went to her knees at the start of last week's Polly Drummond as the even-money co-favorite and finished sixth, will try again, this time with the colt Happytheman.

Happytheman adds blinkers after beating nine rivals in his second career start May 1 at Pimlico. He is a half-brother to Danthebluegrassman, who won the Gold Rush Stakes at Golden Gate Fields as a 2-year-old in 2001.

The only other winners in the field are Speed Demon, a Bret Calhoun-trained colt who comes off a four-length score at Churchill Downs, and Affluence, who surprised at 20-1 in his career debut at Delaware on May 4.

Although Speed Demon was much the best, he may not have beaten much. The only one of his five rivals who has since raced, third-place finisher Gold for Cash, finished second with a weak 34 Beyer at Churchill on May 13.