11/16/2008 1:00AM

Maidens score first victories in Philly stakes


A pair of maidens took advantage of the absence of the probable heavy favorites to earn their first career victories in Sunday's co-featured stakes at Philadelphia Park.

Not Up for Love ($12.40), a first-time starter for trainer Karin Wagner, took the lead in midstretch and drew clear to score by 1 ½ lengths over 6-5 favorite St John's Gospel in the $53,700 Christopher Elser Memorial for 2-year-old colts and geldings.

Oh So Clever ($5.20), returning from a four-month layoff, held off Payton d'Oro by a head in the $52,850 Donna Freyer for 2-year-old fillies.

Mr. Keeper, who would have been an odds-on favorite in the Elser, was scratched because of the equineherpes virus situation in Maryland, as were his Hamilton Smith stablemates, Blind Date and Millie Sunshine, in the Freyer.

Jeremy Rose rode Not Up for Love, who covered 6 ½ ifurlongs on a track rated good in 1:19.55.

Gabriel Saez was aboard Oh So Clever, a second-time starter making her first start on Lasix, to her win in 1:20.27 for 6 ½ furlongs.