05/11/2005 11:00PM

Scratch could derail Quick Card rematch


Max Forever and Private Lap, separated by only a nose when they ran one-two in last year's one-mile Quick Card Stakes, are among 11 entrants for Saturday's running of the $50,000 stakes at Delaware Park. But Private Lap may be scratched and neither he nor Max Forever look as if they can handle the two horses that form a potent entry for owner Mike Gill, greatly dimming any excitement about a possible rematch.

and Lusty Latin, coupled in the wagering for Gill even though they have different trainers, come into the Quick Card with far better recent accomplishments than either Max Forever or Private Lap.

Steve Klesaris, the trainer of Private Lap, said earlier this week that he was leaning toward finding an easier allowance spot for his horse, who is unraced since being eased at Aqueduct in January.

Clays Awesome spent the winter with trainer Tim Hooper at Oaklawn Park, where he faced some of the best older horses on the grounds in a pair of Grade 3 stakes, the Fifth Season and the Razorback Breeders' Cup Handicap. Although Clays Awesome didn't win either race, he was beaten less than three lengths both times and paired up 98 Beyer Speed Figures.

, trained by Mark Shuman, romped in his first start of the year, scoring a five-length wire-to-wire win with a 102 Beyer in the nine-furlong H.E. Johnson Memorial Handicap at Laurel Park. He stopped badly a month later, however, while facing stiffer competition in the Jim McKay BC Handicap.

Jason Lumpkins, who has moved his tack to Delaware from northern California, is named to ride both of Gill's horses.

ran a career-best 102 Beyer winning last year's Quick Card, but he raced only twice more the rest of the year and his form worsened each time. In his lone start this year, the 5-year-old Max Forever was up close for a half-mile before fading in a seven-furlong optional claimer at Laurel. He could improve dramatically, based on a bullet five-furlong work at Philadelphia Park and trainer Lupe Preciado's 29 percent success rate the past two seasons with horses making their second starts off long layoffs.

The Lady's Groom is winless in four starts this year, but was good enough to finish within a neck of the winner, Offlee Wild, in last summer's Grade 2 Massachusetts Handicap.

Polish Pride has won 2 of his last 3 starts, with Beyers of 100 and 96, and is favorably drawn on the rail.