07/01/2004 12:00AM

One horse a standout for Hadry


When Charles J. Hadry was 10, he began hanging around the barn of his father, Charles H. Hadry. He had the opportunity to get close to some nice horses, including Private Terms, winner of the Wood Memorial and Gotham Stakes in 1988; Blue Ensign, a two-time stakes winner in Maryland; and Assault Landing, winner of the 1983 Gotham.

Since becoming a trainer himself, the younger Hadry has tasted success with the older mare Shiny Sheet, who won the $100,000 John Rooney Memorial Handicap at Delaware Park last month and finished third at 62-1 in last year's Grade 2 Delaware Handicap.

Ask Hadry his favorite horse, however, and he has to pick P Day, partly for what the gelding accomplished under his care, but also for sentimental reasons.

Hadry's father was battling cancer in 2002 and had only several months left to live. P Day, a horse the elder Hadry bred and trained, had been claimed away by Scott Lake for $80,000. But after a series of poor performances, Lake called and offered to allow the younger Hadry to resume training P Day.

"For Scott to ask me to do that was just overwhelming," said Hadry, 36, who currently has 16 horses on the grounds in his first full season at Delaware. "It really took a lot of class to do that.

"I asked Scott to let me talk to my dad, because he was not well and I had to check with him. I called back in five minutes and told Scott I would love have the horse back."

Under Hadry's care, P Day ran fourth and then second against optional claimers, then moved up in class and won back-to-back stakes in Maryland. In February 2003, P Day ran in the John B. Campbell Handicap at Laurel, but threw his shoes and eased himself. The next day, the elder Hadry died.

"I am convinced my dad held on a little longer because he wanted to see P Day run in the Campbell," Hadry said. "I wanted that horse to win so bad that day because I knew he was waiting for this horse."

The 8-year-old P Day came back to win two more stakes, including the Grade 3 Baltimore Breeders' Cup Handicap, before sustaining a career-ending injury on the 2003 Preakness undercard.

"We tried to bring him back this year, but we decided to retire him," Hadry said. "He's going to become my pony."

Hadry, who was only 20 when he won the Maryland Million Juvenile as a first-year trainer in 1989, has been focusing on improving his stock. In addition to Shiny Sheet, he has a promising filly named Gelli, the runner-up in the Summer King Stakes on May 22. Both Shiny Sheet and Gelli are being pointed for the July 18 Delaware Handicap, the premier race of the meet.

Mo Bay: Good group of sprinters

Considering it's an overnight stakes with a relatively modest $50,000 purse, Saturday's six-furlong Mo Bay attracted a quality group of older sprinters. The eight-horse field includes five runners who have earned $250,000 or more.

The favorite could be Don Six, a 4-year-old colt who has been first or second in 10 of 17 starts, racing primarily in New York, or the Michael Gill-owned entry of deep closer Highway Prospector, second in a Grade 3 stakes last time out, and front-running Crafty Guy, who hit the board in two graded stakes last winter at Gulfstream.

The field also includes True Direction, winner of an allowance with a Beyer Speed Figure of 103 his last time out, and the uncoupled Ben Feliciano-trained pair of Crossing Point and Sassy Hound, who have combined for 28 lifetime victories.