07/16/2006 11:00PM

Fleet Indian dominates Del Cap


The Delaware Handicap has been run 69 times since 1937, and its companion stakes, the Delaware Oaks, has been contested 55 times since 1938. Until Sunday, no trainer had ever swept the two most prestigious races on Delaware Park's stakes schedule.

Todd Pletcher pulled off the unprecedented feat, and jockey Jose Santos made it look easy, as Fleet Indian cruised to her sixth straight victory and fourth consecutive stakes in the Grade 2, $1 million .

On the lead from gate to wire, Fleet Indian ($2.80) finished 5 1/2 lengths in front of Dynamic Deputy. Racing 1 1/4 miles for only the second time in 16 career starts, Fleet Indian covered the distance on a fast track in 2:02.08, the fastest Del Cap since Urbane won in 2:01.80 in 1996.

Fleet Indian, a daughter of Indian Charlie, is now 11 for 16 lifetime with earnings of $1,104,513. She tuned up for the Del Cap by winning last month's $100,000 Obeah Handicap at Delaware. Before that, she won Grade 3 races in Chicago and New York.

As a consolation prize worth a collective $370,000, Maryland-based trainer Dickie Small's three-horse entry of Dynamic Deputy, Take a Check, and Sticky finished two-three-four. Pletcher's second horse, La Reason, finished sixth in a field of nine older fillies and mares.

Pletcher, who won the $500,000 Oaks for 3-year-old fillies with Adieu on Saturday, had a simple explanation for his huge weekend.

"Sometimes things go right," Pletcher said. "We had been pointing Fleet Indian to this race for three months. But it was only a week ago we decided to run Adieu in the Oaks."

Santos, who has ridden Fleet Indian in all four of her starts since she was purchased by Paul Saylor last winter and transferred to Pletcher's barn, said he considers himself fortunate to have become her regular rider.

"I was really lucky to get this mare," Santos said. "I was supposed to ride another one for Pletcher last winter but she got sick. He told me, ?Don't worry. I've got another nice one for you.' It was her," meaning Fleet Indian.

Asked how Fleet Indian compares to other top fillies and mares he has ridden in his career, Santos said, "She's definitely one of the best mares I've ever ridden."

Pletcher said Fleet Indian will likely make her next start in the Aug. 25 Personal Ensign at Saratoga, with the Breeders' Cup Distaff as a long-range goal.

Richards: Awfully Smart easy winner

Awfully Smart is quickly establishing himself as a horse for the course at Delaware Park.

A 3-year-old son of Anees, Awfully Smart is now 2 for 2 at Delaware following his 5 1/2-length victory in Sunday's Grade 3, $300,000 Leonard Richards Stakes. He is only 1 for 5 elsewhere.

Based at Colts Neck Farm, located near Monmouth Park, with trainer Alan Goldberg, Awfully Smart ($10.60) wired a field of first-level allowance horses in his only previous start locally in April. He finished sixth in his stakes debut, the one-mile Spend a Buck, at Monmouth in late May.

Jim Maloney, Goldberg's assistant, said he doesn't believe Awfully Smart only runs well at Delaware.

"He'll run any place," Maloney said. "Alan's always been high on this horse. I think he can handle any track."

Maloney said he was encouraged about Awfully Smart's chances when Latent Heat, who would have been one of the favorites in the Richards, ran in Saturday's Grade 3 Long Branch at Monmouth and barely beat another Goldberg-trained horse, Victory Lake.

"Latent Heat beat our horse by a neck, and Awfully Smart is a better horse than the one Latent Heat just beat," Maloney said. He added that Awfully Smart encountered significant trouble in his only other stakes try, so there was reason to feel the colt deserved another chance in the Richards.

"When you look at the field, aside from Ah Day, it was essentially a two-other-than allowance," Maloney said.

Third after six furlongs behind pacesetter Throng and Irish Gentleman, Awfully Smart and jockey Ramon Dominguez made a three-wide move entering the stretch, opened up by 2 1/2 lengths with a furlong remaining, and widened his advantage heading to the wire.

Ah Day, coming off a seven-furlong stakes win at Charles Town, finished second, 3 3/4 lengths ahead of the Nick Zito-trained Little Cliff, the even-money favorite.

Awfully Smart covered the 1 1/16 miles over a fast track in 1:43.23.

In addition to Latent Heat, the Richards lost two other of its prominent players with the scratches of locally based Cat Criminal, impressive winner of his first two starts this season, and Cotton King, a recent maiden winner in New York for Bobby Frankel.

Rodney: Fishy Advice pulls upset

Fishy Advice ($15.80) and jockey Mario Pino slowed down the pace to steal the $200,000 Caesar Rodney Stakes at 1 3/8 miles on turf. The 4-year-old Fishy Advice, who won his last two starts, both in New York, was left alone on the lead through fractions of 25.50, 50.41, and 1:14.77. He opened up three lengths in the stretch and easily prevailed over 24-1 longshot Capitano, who beat out Foufa's Warrior for third by a nose.

Icy Atlantic, the 7-5 favorite, finished fourth.

The winning time over a firm course was 1:50.72.

Light Hearted: Miss Elsie nails Trickle of Gold

Miss Elsie ($7.20) ran down heavily favored Trickle of Gold in the stretch to win the $97,000 Light Hearted Stakes for filly and mare sprinters. The 5-year-old Miss Elsie, ridden by Pino for trainer Larry Jones, had lost to Trickle of Gold twice earlier at the meet. This time, Miss Elsie stalked a moderate pace of 22.37 and 45.34 seconds set by Trickle of Gold and drew clear by two lengths in the final furlong.

That's Our Song finished second with Baldomera third.

The winning time for six furlongs was 1:09.97.

Trickle of Gold, who came into the race with a 7-for-10 record at Delaware, faded to last in the field of four. She came back lame in a front leg and was vanned off the track for further evaluation.