08/03/2005 11:00PM

Philadelphia: Pa. Derby preview


Six as yet undistinguished 3-year-olds will try to strengthen their credentials for next month's Pennsylvania Derby in the $100,000 Larry Riviello President's Cup at Philadelphia Park.

As an incentive, the race winner earns a berth in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby on Sept. 5.

Legal Control, a two-time stakes winner against Maryland-breds, and Letterman's Humor, winner of an overnight stakes at Delaware Park in June, are the only stakes winners in the field.

Neither horse fared well when facing tougher competition last time out. Legal Control was up close at the stretch call but fell back to fifth in the Iowa Derby a month ago.

Letterman's Humor was fourth of five in the Grade 3 Leonard Richards, a race easily won by Sun King, on July 17 at Delaware.

Tani Maru has also been chasing faster horses recently, finishing far back of Park Avenue Ball in the Grade 3 Long Branch at Monmouth and last of eight behind the unbeaten Lost in the Fog in the Grade 2 Riva Ridge at Belmont.

Come Close earned a career-best 84 Beyer against maidens in his first try around two turns on dirt a month ago.

Russian Bay regained his confidence after getting thrashed in the Sir Barton at Pimlico by winning back-to-back allowance routes.

Quadrant earned an impressive 102 Beyer winning his maiden in a sprint, but regressed in his next two starts, going long against winners.

* Following Tuesday's program, Philly Park will suspend live racing until Sept. 3 in order to resurface the main track.