06/24/2002 11:00PM

'Other' half of Ritchey pair scores


On paper, Urban Dancer certainly looked like the weaker part of an entry for Tuesday's $63,100 at Delaware Park. But when trainer Tim Ritchey decided to scratch Madame Roar and allowed Urban Dancer to run, the betting public wasn't fooled.

Urban Dancer, bet down to 8-5 in a field of 11 filly and mare sprinters, drew off to a three-length victory in the six-furlong overnight stakes.

A 4-year-old Ritchey homebred, Urban Dancer was coming off one the worst performances of her career. Returning to the races June 14 in a money allowance at Charles Town off a seven-month layoff, Urban Dancer broke a step slowly and ended up beating just one horse. That was hardly the form she showed last season when she won five of 12 starts, including stakes at Delaware and Laurel.

Unlike the Charles Town debacle, Urban Dancer ($5.60) was alert at the start of the Late Bloomer and pulled jockey Jeremy Rose to the lead after the first half-mile.

"She wanted to take over the lead real early," Rose said. "I didn't want to, but she was dragging me. I held until about the top of the lane, let her switch her leads, hit her a couple of times, and she just drew off."

Urban Dancer, who has now won 6 of 16 lifetime starts, was timed in 1:10.83 over a fast track.

A pair of New York-based horses, 13-1 Divine Line and 7-1 Outstanding Info, closed late to take second and third, respectively, completing a $76.60 exacta and a $420.20 trifecta.