10/05/2006 12:00AM

Tough spots for repeats at Delaware


Defending champions Magical Gem and Ebony Star are likely to have a difficult time repeating in two six-furlong $50,000 stakes restricted to Delaware-certified horses on Saturday at Delaware Park.

In order to be eligible, a horse must have been stabled in Delaware for at least 90 days prior to turning 2 years old.

Magical Gem will be a distinct underdog in the Delaware Certified (race 8) for males 3 years old and up. Since his come-from-behind one-length win in this race last year, the 5-year-old Magical Gem has mostly struggled in a series of longer races. He's just 1 for 10 this year.

The Finger Lakes-based Scary Bob finished third as the even-money favorite in this race a year ago. He comes off back-to-back wins by a combined margin of 13 3/4 lengths against allowance competition.

Tartlett will be making the difficult cutback from 1 1/8 miles to six furlongs, but the last time he switched from a route to a sprint he finished a fast-closing second.

In the Delaware Certified Distaff (race 6), 4-year-old filly Ebony Star appears vulnerable as the 5-2 morning-line favorite. She has raced just twice this season and not at all since finishing last of seven in early May.

Five Star Dream is in much sharper form. An improving 3-year-old filly, Five Star Dream comes off the two best races of her career, a 10 1/2-length win and a nose loss, both at six furlongs locally.