10/14/2010 2:21PM

Poseidon's Warrior, Steady Warrior face off in First State Dash


Poseidon’s Warrior and Steady Warrior, both coming off dominant victories in six-figure stakes at other Mid-Atlantic tracks, return to Delaware Park for the most intriguing of four stakes on Saturday’s card restricted to Delaware-certified horses.

All four stakes are worth $75,000 and are limited to horses that spent a minimum of 90 days on a Delaware farm or training facility prior to March 31 of their 2-year-old year.

Poseidon’s Warrior, based at Monmouth Park with trainer Butch Reid, and Steady Warrior, who trains at Laurel Park with Gary Capuano, are 2-year-old colts entered in the 5 1/2-furlong First State Dash (race 8).

Most recently, Poseidon’s Warrior cruised to a seven-length victory in the $167,000 NATC Futurity at Monmouth, earning an 88 Beyer Speed Figure that is by far the best number in Saturday’s field.

Steady Warrior remained unbeaten in two starts with a 7 1/4-length victory in the $100,000 Maryland Million Nursery at Laurel on Oct. 2. He received a 77 Beyer.

Both colts have had one race over Delaware’s main track. Steady Warrior was the more impressive, winning his career debut by a length with a 75 Beyer.

In the other stakes:

◗ Southern Truth, a winner in a similar restricted stakes last fall as a 2-year-old filly, visits Delaware for the first time since then in the Tax Free Shopping Distaff, a six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares (race 6).

Although winless in seven starts since taking the 2009 Small Wonder, Southern Truth has kept classy company, picking up small pieces of the purse in the Grade 2 Matron at Belmont, the Grade 3 Old Hat at Gulfstream, the Grade 3 Cicada at Aqueduct, the $100,000 Lady Charles Town, and the $93,000 Dearly Precious at Monmouth.

Her five rivals include Robynthekoop, a Penn National-based 4-year-old who has been no worse than third in her last five starts.

◗ W Table Talking, back at Delaware, where she won back-to-back starts in August and September, and the speedy Funky Munky Mama, third in the $139,000 Lady Finger last month, look like the prime contenders in the 5 1/2-furlong Small Wonder for 2-year-old fillies (race 7).

Table Talking, based at Laurel with trainer Robin Graham, returns to a dirt sprint after an unsuccessful one-race experiment going long on turf in the Grade 3 Miss Grillo at Belmont. She won her previous two starts at Delaware by a combined 6 1/4 lengths.

◗ A pair of 3-year-olds, Nathan’s H Q and Rock Solid Arch, may be faster than their older opponents in the six-furlong New Castle (race 9).

Nathan’s H Q, second in the $93,000 Rumson at Monmouth in June, was a distant fourth last time out in a second-level optional $40,000 claimer but still earned a career-best 85 Beyer.

Rock Solid Arch adds blinkers and switches from a route to a sprint after finishing third, earning an 82 Beyer, going a mile and 70 yards in a first-level allowance.

The intriguing value play could be Dr Large, a 4-year-old who makes his first start off a $20,000 claim and switches from turf to dirt following eight consecutive races on grass. He shows three consecutive bullet workouts at Charles Town, including a best-of-60 four-furlong move in 47.20 seconds.

◗ Ron Turcotte, Secretariat’s jockey during his Triple Crown campaign, will sign autographs in the Grove Tent at Delaware Park from 2 to 5:30 p.m.