06/28/2010 11:00PM

A Little Warm wins comeback at Delaware


A Little Warm pressured Miner's Reserve from the start of a $39,770 over 1 1/16 miles on Tuesday at Delaware Park, gradually wearing down his rival in the stretch and pulling clear by 2 1/4 lengths in his first start since a runner-up finish in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby on March 27.

A Little Warm, owned by Edward Evans, returned $3.20 as the favorite. His next start could come at Saratoga.

"We did not feel our horse was 100 percent going into the race today, and for him to give us a performance like that and to fight as hard as he did to beat a really nice horse, I think we have to be really happy and looking forward to his future," winning trainer Tony Dutrow said. "I think right now, Mr. Evans is looking at the Jim Dandy [on July 31] at Saratoga for his next start."

Miner's Reserve, with Jeremy Rose riding for trainer Nick Zito, broke on top, but A Little Warm and jockey John Velazquez were right along side entering the clubhouse turn. Velazquez kept A Little Warm about 1 to 1 1/2 lengths back as Miner's Reserve led through fractions of 23.80 seconds, 46.65, 1:10.19 for the first three-quarters of a mile.

Heading into the far turn, A Little Warm moved up to challenge the leader, and entering the stretch, A Little Warm was a half-length back. Velazquez went to the whip with about a furlong remaining, and A Little Warm responded by gradually edging away from Miner's Reserve.

A Little Warm completed the 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:43.60.

Miner's Reserve finished 14 1/2 lengths in front of Strikewhileitshot, with Bear's Rocket another 32 1/4 lengths back in fourth in the scratch-reduced field of four.

A Little Warm, had finished second in the Grade 2 Hutcheson to D' Funnybone and won the Spectacular Bid at Gulfstream Park in his only other starts this season. He had been targeting a start in the Preakness Stakes, but those plans were abandoned after a poor endoscopic exam prior to the race.

A 3-year-old Virginia-bred by Stormin Fever, A Little Warm has won 3 of 8 starts. Tuesday's win pushed his career bankroll to $308,880.