10/06/2004 11:00PM

Killenaule once again well backed


In the first six starts of his career, Killenaule has been favored five times and gone off at 3-2 odds in his other race.

As the only 2-year-old in a field of six with proven dirt form around two turns beyond the maiden ranks, Killenaule figures to be a short price again Saturday in the $100,000 Dover Stakes at Delaware Park.

A son of Fusaichi Pegasus trained by Todd Pletcher, Killenaule comes into the 1 1/16-mile Dover off a 1 1/2-length win going a mile against first-level allowance runners at Delaware. He was narrowly beaten at Monmouth Park in his only other race around two turns.

On paper, two other contenders - one a maiden - have already run faster than Killenaule.

All Trumps improved his Beyer Speed Figure 31 points to a 76 when he added Lasix for his second lifetime start, a seven-furlong maiden race at Saratoga. His 376 Tomlinson distance rating indicates he should handle the extra distance of the Dover.

Spanish Mission remains a maiden after three starts for trainer Shug McGaughey, but was narrowly beaten a week ago at Belmont in a one-turn maiden race at 1 1/16 miles. He earned a 72 Beyer, 10 points higher than Killenaule was awarded for his mile allowance win.

Wild Desert ships in from the Midwest for trainer Ken McPeek after winning back-to-back mile races at Arlington, one on dirt and the other on turf.