Updated on 09/15/2011 12:26PM

Preakness also-rans face off in Richards


After finding the waters too deep in last month's $1 million Preakness, Bay Eagle, Griffinite, and Marciano have an easier task awaiting them in Sunday's $200,000 Leonard Richards Stakes at Delaware Park.

Those three meet two others -- Sir Barton winner Burning Roma and Prairie Mile winner Junior Deputy - in the 1 1/16-mile Leonard Richards, the fifth event on a 10-race card.

Of the three Preakness starters entered here, Griffinite had the best finish (fifth) and that might gain him slight favoritism in this spot.

Griffinite, trained by Jennifer Leigh-Pedersen, became a stakes winner earlier this year in the Grade 3 Lafayette despite causing a ruckus before entering the gate. He then finished third in the Grade 2 Lexington and was moved up to second through disqualification.

Griffinite's Preakness effort was decent, considering he encountered some traffic and only finished six lengths behind Point Given, who came back with a exceptional performance to win the Belmont Stakes.

Norberto Arroyo Jr. rides Griffinite, who has trained at Saratoga since the Preakness, from

post 2.

Burning Roma, who has been managed carefully by trainer Tony Dutrow and owner Harold Queen, was scratched from last weekend's seven-furlong Riva Ridge on the Belmont Stakes undercard so he could compete around two turns in the Leonard Richards.

Burning Roma is 3 for 5 at the Leonard Richards distance, including a hard-fought win in the Sir Barton on the Preakness undercard. Rick Wilson rides Burning Roma from post 5.

Marciano, seventh in the Preakness after steadying on both turns, won his career debut at Delaware last fall, but was disqualified and placed second. Since then the colt has proven to be a strong competitor on the Maryland circuit, winning four races from a combined seven starts at Pimlico and Laurel.

Bay Eagle was never really in the hunt in the Preakness and finished eighth, beaten 9 3/4 lengths.

Bay Eagle's trainer, H. Graham Motion, said the distance of Sunday's race is not optimum for his colt, whose two career wins came at nine furlongs.

"But I think we have an advantage being stabled here, so we should give it a shot," Motion said.

Junior Deputy, the likely pacesetter, took advantage of a slow pace to draw off to a five-length win in the Prairie Mile at Prairie Meadows last month. Junior Deputy, a winner of his last three at a mile and under, owns the highest Beyer Speed Figure (106) in the Leonard Richards field.