07/12/2006 11:00PM

Olaya live shooter vs. Honey Ryder


If horses for courses can be a helpful handicapping angle, why not trainers for specific races?

In the case of Graham Motion, recent history certainly indicates that anything he runs in the Robert G. Dick Memorial Breeders' Cup is an automatic contender.

After winning 5 of the last 7 runnings of the $300,000 Dick, Motion has yet another threat for Saturday's running of the 1 3/8-mile turf race for fillies and mares at Delaware Park in his 4-year-old filly Olaya.

The Dick, which goes as race 6, and the $100,000 R.R.M. Carpenter Jr. Memorial Handicap for older males one race later, are the supporting stakes on a card topped by the $500,000 Delaware Oaks.

comes into the Dick after being freshened since April, and Motion said she runs well off a layoff. He cites Olaya's first start in the United States after being imported from France. Last November, racing for the first time since August, Olaya beat older females in the Grade 2 Long Island Handicap at Aqueduct going 1 1/2 miles.

"When she won the Long Island last year she was a fresh horse and a 3-year-old beating older horses," he said.

Motion said the Dick has been a target for Olaya ever since she was given a break following a win and two close seconds in Florida.

"I backed off of her after Florida," he said. "I felt like she had run hard down there and I have really had this race in mind for her since we left Florida with the idea of giving her a little freshening in between."

Olaya, coupled with the allowance-caliber filly Frambroise, will have her work cut out her for trying to dethrone last year's champion, Honey Ryder, a $1.2 million earner for trainer Todd Pletcher.

cruised over a yielding course to a 5 1/4-length victory in last year's Dick. She has won 7 of 10 starts over the past two seasons, including the Grade 3 Orchid Handicap at Gulfstream and the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay Handicap at Belmont in her most recent starts.

Aside from Olaya, the horse with the best shot to upset Honey Ryder is the 5-year-old Latice.

finished out of the money against Honey Ryder in the Sheepshead Bay and was the beaten favorite against Olaya in last year's Long Island, but she was only a half-length behind Honey Ryder in the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor at Woodbine last October. Latice will be ridden by Mario Pino for the first time.

Carpenter: Locals take on Survivalist

Mighty Mecke, unbeaten in three starts locally, and Smart Growth, coming off a career-best Beyer Speed Figure, will challenge the sharp New York shipper Survivalist in the 1 1/16-mile Carpenter.

The 4-year-old Mighty Mecke, trained by Steve Klesaris, will be making his first stakes start on the main track since winning the off-the-turf Nick Shuk in June 2005. He comes off back-to-back wins over high-priced optional claimers.

Smart Growth, first or second in 3 of 4 starts at Delaware, most recently came from off the pace to win the $100,000 Brandywine with a 104 Beyer. He picks up six pounds off that win as the 123-pound highweight on Saturday.

Survivalist, winner of the Grade 3 Gotham last year at 3, has beaten optional claimers at Belmont in his last two starts.

Others with a license to win include Play Bingo, winner of the $100,000 Sussex last time out; Halos Sailing Sain, who comes off an extremely wide trip in the Grade 3 Texas Mile; and Whos Crying Now, whose good races last winter in Florida included a second to Lava Man in the Sunshine Millions Classic.