06/11/2001 12:00AM

Potaro captures Nick Shuk


Potaro, scratched from the Jersey Derby when the race was switched to dirt on May 26, got his preferred surface in Monday's $75,900 Nick Shuk Memorial at Delaware Park.

Potaro, a Group 3 winner in Europe, won his first stakes in this country when he held off a late charge from Unaccountedlea to win the 1 1/16-mile grass stakes by a half-length.

The winner, with Brent Bartram in the saddle, raced in fourth behind early leader Lit de Lace. Potaro, the favorite among the eight 3-year-olds entered, put in a sustained run turning for home and came four-wide to collar Mr. Notebook, the second choice, in midstretch.

Punkin Head closed for third, a half-length behind Unaccountedlea, and three-quarters of a length in front of Mr. Notebook in fourth.

Potaro ($4.80) completed the distance in 1:43.71 over a firm course.