Updated on 09/15/2011 1:10PM

Once-potent Scottish Halo on the rebound


Scottish Halo has always had talent. What he lacked was good health.

A one-time Triple Crown prospect, Scottish Halo had gone more than a year without winning a race. In fact, the now 4-year-old colt had been fit enough to make just two starts in the last 16 months.

Monday afternoon at Delaware Park, Scottish Halo showed that he's back in form by winning a $40,000 allowance race by three lengths. His time of 1:50.77 for 1 1/8 miles was worth a 102 Beyer Speed Figure, a follow-up to the career-high 110 he earned while finishing a fast-closing second in the $75,000 Owners' Day Handicap here on Sept. 8.

After winning the Laurel Futurity in November 1999 and finishing a close fourth in the Grade 2 Remsen in New York three weeks later, Scottish Halo was highly regarded as an early Kentucky Derby contender. But after poor performances in the Florida and Arkansas derbies, Scottish Halo's stock plummeted.

His only victory in a disappointing 3-year-old campaign came in a minor stakes at Delaware in May 2000. That turned out to be his last win until this week's allowance race.

"It feels great to finally get that victory," said trainer Paul Rizzo. "It was a long time, but, I think, we finally got him where we want him to be."

According to Rizzo, Scottish Halo will be pointed to the $250,000 Empire Classic Handicap, a 1 1/8-mile race for New York-breds, on Oct. 21 at Belmont Park.

Rizzo also said that Superduper Miss, this year's champion of the filly and mare sprint division of the Mid-Atlantic Championship Series, will get a well-deserved vacation for the remainder of the year.

"She had a long, hard campaign and she's tired, so we're going to give her some rest," Rizzo said. "We'll probably try to get her back going at Gulfstream Park."

The 5-year-old Superduper Miss had a record of 2-3-2 in 10 starts this year with earnings of $174,000.

Ritchey nears record

With 21 days remaining in the meet, trainer Tim Ritchey needs six wins to set a track record for most wins. Through Wednesday's racing, Ritchey has 70 winners. The record, set by Allen Iwinski last year, is 75.

Ritchey also appears a lock to win the $30,000 bonus awarded to the top trainer in the starter handicap series. With just one race remaining, a 1 1/2-mile marathon on Oct. 20, Ritchey has 23 points. Julio Cartagena is a distant second with 11.

Arabian claims good investment

Only two Arabian horses have been claimed at the meet, but both paid dividends for their new connections. Cody James, a 4-year-old son of Burning Sand, was claimed for $20,000 by trainer Lynn Ashby on Sept. 12. TC Kentucky Blue, a

5-year-old mare by Wiking, was claimed for $10,000 by trainer Mike Petro on Aug. 19.

Both horses earned $30,000 for winning $50,000 stakes. Racing on two days' rest after being claimed, Cody James posted a 6 1/2-length victory in the six-furlong Iron Horse Handicap. TC Kentucky Blue scored by 3 1/4 lengths in the six-furlong Iron Butterfly Handicap.

Virginia-bred stakes find new home

The summer meet at Colonial Downs came too early on the calendar for many of the Virginia-bred and -sired 2-year-olds to be ready for stakes competition. Thanks to an agreement between the Virginia Breeders Fund and Delaware Park, the Virginia juveniles will get to run in a pair of restricted stakes here later this month.

The M. Tyson Gilpin Stakes for 2-year-old Virginia-bred or -sired colts, and the Hildene Stakes for 2-year-old Virginia-bred or -sired fillies, will be run on Oct. 28. Both are six-furlong races.