06/07/2007 12:00AM

Trapped Again looks ready for a top effort


Horse-for-the-course Trapped Again returns to Delaware Park on Saturday for the first time since winning a pair of $100,000 stakes and narrowly missing in a third stakes there in 2005.

Now 7, Trapped Again appears to be rounding into top shape after missing nearly the entire 2006 season, and could be the value play in the $100,000 Brandywine Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.

Two years ago, Trapped Again won the Kelso and the Owners' Day in back-to-back starts at Delaware, posting Beyer Speed Figures of 109 and 103. He followed up by missing by a neck in an overnight stakes.

After a year on the sidelines, Trapped Again launched a comeback just before last Christmas. Although 0 for 6 since then, he has been competitive in his three most recent starts, two of which resulted in triple-digit Beyer Figures.

Trapped Again's jockey, Jose Caraballo, is 4 for 8 at the meet riding for Trapped Again's trainer, Mike Gorham.

Better Than Bonds, winner of an overnight stakes five weeks ago, and Ryan's for Real, coming off a third-place finish in the Grade 3 William D. Schaefer Handicap, are likely to vie for favoritism.

Better Than Bonds won for the second time in three starts locally as the odds-on favorite in the Quick Card on April 30, beating just three opponents.

Ryan's for Real, third in the Gradeo2 General George at Laurel Park in February, is cross-entered in the Slipton Fell Handicap on Saturday night at Mountaineer. Owner-trainer John Alecci said he is uncertain where Ryan's for Real will run. The higher purse at Delaware is offset by the fact Ryan's for Real would have to face Trapped Again over his home course, Alecci said.