09/29/2004 11:00PM

Private Lap formidable


Despite the presence of previous Kelso Handicap winners Country Be Gold and Lyracist, Private Lap is clearly the horse to beat in this year's edition of the $100,000 Kelso at Delaware Park.

The 5-year-old Private Lap has an amazing record of 8 wins and 3 seconds in 11 lifetime starts over Delaware's main track. His three losses were by the slimmest of margins - a head, a nose, and a neck.

The only question mark is the distance. Although Private Lap is 3 for 8 at 1 1/8 miles, he has never raced beyond that distance. The Kelso will be contested at 1 3/16 miles.

Country Be Gold won last year's Kelso with a 104 Beyer Speed Figure. For Country Be Gold, it will be his third start since Sept. 11, a busy schedule for a 7-year-old. Most recently, he finished fourth behind Roses in May in the Grade 2 Kentucky Cup Handicap at Turfway.

Lyracist won the 2000 Kelso with a 101 Beyer and finished sixth a year later. He is winless in eight starts this year.

* Canadian shipper Roving Angel, unbeaten in two starts, should be heavily favored to win her third in a row in the $50,000 Finger Lakes Juvenile Fillies.