08/27/2004 11:00PM

Glory days are over, but pair still figure


Two former graded stakes winners with combined earnings of more than a half-million dollars, are entered in Monday's feature race at Delaware Park.

Twilight Time, winner of the Grade 2 Cowdin as a 2-year-old in 1999, and Windward Passage, who captured the Grade 3 Rebel Stakes as a 3-year-old two seasons ago, will run in Monday's eighth race. The 1 1/16-mile race is a third-level allowance with a $35,000 claiming option.

Twilight Time shows far better recent form than Windward Passage.

Since trainer Ed Gaudet claimed Twilight Time last November for $16,000 in Maryland, he has won 4 of 10 starts, including three of his last four. Twilight Time, now 7, will run for the $35,000 tag in Monday's race.

In a career in which he has won 10 of 45 starts and earned $330,018, Twilight Time's most prestigious wins came as a 2-year-old, when he won a pair of sprint stakes, the Cowdin at Belmont Park and the Huntington at Aqueduct, while in the barn of Linda Rice.

Windward Passage, 5, appeared on the brink of stardom when he won the Rebel and finished in a dead heat for third in the 2002 Arkansas Derby while owned by Team Valor and trained by Steve Asmussen. He was still a prospect early last year, when he finished third in the Grade 3 Razorback Handicap at Oaklawn Park. He was privately sold last summer and transferred to Andrew Simoff's barn.

Windward Passage has lost 11 starts in a row, dating back to March 2003, and his Beyer Speed Figures have steadily decreased from a 97 to a 62 during that span. Overall, he has won 3 of 26 starts and earned $253,435.

Windward Passage comes into Monday's race off a two-month freshening and gets a new rider in Maryland-based apprentice Eric Camacho.

Hopelessly Devoted has stakes plans

The 3-year-old filly Hopelessly Devoted will ship some 35 miles north of her home base at Delaware Park for a pair of six-figure stakes at Philadelphia Park.

Hopelessly Devoted, most recently second in the Grade 2 Monmouth Oaks, will probably run next in the $100,000 Pennsylvania Oaks, a mile-and-70-yard race on the Pennsylvania Derby undercard.

Trainer Sandra Slivka hopes to use the Oaks as a stepping-stone to the Cotillion, a Grade 2, 1 1/16-mile race worth $250,000 on Oct. 2 at Philadelphia Park.

Slivka explained that although Hopelessly Devoted finished 6 1/2 lengths behind the Todd Pletcher-trained Capeside Lady in the Monmouth Oaks, her performance was a much better effort than it appears on paper.

"She really was the only horse that day to come from off it. The course was pretty speed-biased," Slivka said. "The winner in the race went uncontested, and an uncontested lead can be dangerous at Monmouth."

Hopelessly Devoted earned a career-best 93 Beyer Speed Figure in the Monmouth Oaks, one point higher than her win in the May 29 Susan's Girl at Delaware.

Long-range, Slivka is tempted to try Hopelessly Devoted on turf, based on her pedigree. Silver Buck, the sire of her dam, Silver Treego, won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in England, a Group 1 steeplechase at 3 1/4 miles. Her second dam, Accpital, foaled Antarctic Wings, who won the Grade 2 W.L. McKnight Handicap at Calder in 1993.

"A lot of people keep suggesting to me to run her on the turf, but if everything keeps going as well as it has been, it does not make sense to switch from the dirt to turf," said Slivka.

She is considering sending Hopelessly Devoted to Calder for an experiment on grass. Two possibilities are the Calder Oaks at 1 1/8 miles on Oct. 23 and the Frances Genter, a 7 1/2-furlong race on Nov. 27.