10/28/2010 11:07AM

Short rest for In the Juice in Brandywine


In the Juice easily handled the challenge of racing twice within 13 days. But can he run just as well while making his third start in four weeks?

That’s the key handicapping question involving the 4-year-old In the Juice, one of several logical contenders in Saturday’s $125,000 Brandywine Stakes at Delaware Park.

The 1 1/16-mile race drew a field of seven, including Edgewater and Alma d’Oro, who were separated by a neck as the one-two finishers in last month’s Governor’s Day, and Win Willy, a 4-year-old who was good enough to finish first in a Grade 3 stakes earlier this season.

After finishing fourth as the even-money favorite in the Maryland Million Classic on Oct. 2, In the Juice bounced back to dominate the nine-furlong HBPA Governor’s Cup at Charles Town on Oct. 15.

The last time In the Juice, based at Laurel with trainer John Robb, was asked to race three times within 30 days, he finished fourth at 5-2 odds following a pair of good performances.

Edgewater, based at Laurel with trainer Rodney Jenkins, and the locally based Alma d’Oro are both in sharp form. The 4-year-old Edgewater has 2 wins and a second in his last three starts, including his neck victory in the Governor’s Day on Sept. 11. Alma d’Oro, trained by Todd Pletcher, followed up his good effort in the Governor’s Day with a win over three rivals in the Buddy Delp Memorial on Oct. 6.

Win Willy may be dangerous making his second start following a long layoff. He finished first in the Grade 3 Razorback Handicap at Oaklawn in March but was later disqualfied from the purse for testing positive for two nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. His trainer, Mac Robertson, shows a 27 percent hit rate the past two seasons with horses making their second start following a break of 180 days or more.

New York trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, 2 for 2 shipping into Delaware this season, brings in Marilyn’s Guy, who has been off since winning a third-level optional claimer at Parx Racing by 5 1/2 lengths on Sept. 6.

The 3-year-old Not Abroad, no worse than second in 6 of 9 starts at Delaware, was just 1 3/4 lengths behind In the Juice in the Maryland Million Classic last time out, but was a distant fourth behind Edgewater and Alma d’Oro two races ago in the Governor’s Day.