06/08/2002 12:00AM

Sprinting is this duo's game


Earlier this spring, Boston Common and Tank's Expectation were briefly on the Triple Crown trail. But once they failed some early tests against some of the nation's top 3-year-olds, their connections decided they would be better off sticking to sprints.

Boston Common and Tank's Expectation will try to regain some lost confidence in Monday's six-furlong Oh Say, a $55,000 overnight stakes at Delaware Park.

Boston Common twice faced War Emblem in Chicago. But after finishing 33 1/2 lengths behind him in the1 1/8-mile Illinois Derby, it was apparent he was better suited to shorter distances.

In two starts since then, Boston Common has run well, posting back-to-back Beyer Speed Figures of 94 and 95, but is still looking for his first stakes victory.

In each of his last five races dating back to last October, Outstander has been in front after the first six furlongs, which would seem to indicate he would prefer that distance. However, after running in Saturday's Riva Ridge, he is not expected to start in the Oh Say.

Tank's Expectation got his one shot at glory against Mayakovsky and Saarland in the Gotham Mile at Aqueduct, but he backed up badly and was given a two-month freshening. He got caught five wide in the Hirsch Jacobs at Pimlico three weeks ago, but is eligible to improve in his second start back after the layoff.

First starter, first winner

Ella Rizzo, the widow of former trainer Paul Rizzo, recorded her first career winner as a trainer with the first horse she started, when 4-year-old filly Advancewithcaution scored by 2 1/2 lengths in a one-mile claiming race at Delaware June 1.

"This is great, but I wish Paul was here to share the joy with us," said Ella Rizzo, 39. "I learned a lot about training from him, and I am sure he would have been proud of me."

Paul Rizzo, who trained Superduper Miss to win the Light Hearted Stakes last year at Delaware and two stakes at the track in 2000, died in March after a long illness.

Ella Rizzo, who began her career at the racetrack working for Woody Stephens in the mid-1980's, has 14 horses in training for William Rickman.

* Delaware-based Stormin Oedy, the winner of the $150,000 James B. Moseley Breeders' Cup at Suffolk Downs on June 1, and He's a Knockout, fourth in the Grade 3 Maryland Breeders' Cup at Pimlico on the Preakness undercard, are both being pointed to the six-furlong $100,000 Wilmington Handicap on June 15.

* Lily's Affair, a 6-year-old mare who upset an odds-on favorite in the June 1 Nastique Stakes, may be pointed to the $100,000 Obeah Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on June 22. Your Out, who defeated Lily's Affair in a mile and 70-yard overnight stakes on May 21, is also headed to the Obeah, a local prep for the $600,000 Delaware Handicap on July 21.