10/17/2007 11:00PM

Three in Dover face rematch

EmailA trio of 2-year-old colts who were separated by a mere neck when they met a month ago clash for a much bigger purse and at a slightly longer distance in Saturday's $100,000 Dover Stakes at Delaware Park.

Cave's Valley finished a nose in front of Atoned and a neck ahead of Cudjo in a one-mile overnight stakes on Sept. 17. This time, all three will be asked to run an extra half-furlong in the 1 1/16-mile Dover.

Cudjo is a front-runner, Cave's Valley stalks the pace, and Atoned comes from near the rear of the pack.

Cudjo benefits from a four-pound shift in weights since last time, carrying 116 pounds compared with 120 apiece for Cave's Valley and Atoned.

Atoned is among the many near-misses for trainer Todd Pletcher at the meet. Although Pletcher's horses have finished third or better 11 of 16 times at the Delaware meet, he has just one win.

To complicate matters for handicappers, the Dover field also includes Ready Set, who crushed maidens on the dirt at Delaware two starts ago but didn't run a step when ambitiously spotted in the Grade 1 Lane's End Breeders' Futurity on Keeneland's Polytrack two weeks ago.

If Ready Set, trained by Michael Matz, runs back to the form that enabled him to romp by 10 lengths going a mile and 70 yards on Sept.o8, he will be formidable.

As a full brother to the filly Composure, who won the Grade 2 Oak Leaf and finished second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies in 2002, Ready Set certainly has the pedigree to excel as a juvenile. He may not have beaten much in his maiden win, however. The horses from that field who have raced again are 0 for 6 with 1 second.

One other note of caution: Bringing back horses in 14 days or less in dirt routes, Matz is 0 for 14 the past five years, including the ill-fated Barbaro in the 2006 Preakness.

The other colt who is difficult to gauge is Loveyouintheworld. Although he is riding a three-race winning streak, two of those victories have come on turf. The last time he went turf to dirt, however, Loveyouintheworld cruised by 4o3/4 lengths at 29-1.

Loveyouintheworld's sire, Hold That Tiger, was a Group 1 winner at 2 in Europe and third in the BC Juvenile.