10/16/2010 4:16PM

Uncle Otto connects as longest shot in First State Dash


What was supposed to be a showdown between a pair of six-figure stakes winners instead turned out to be a coming out party for the unheralded New Jersey-bred Uncle Otto in Saturday’s $75,000 First State Dash Stakes at Delaware Park.

The First State Dash, one of four stakes on the card restricted to Delaware-certified horses, was reduced to just five 2-year-olds after four runners were scratched, improving the chances of Poseidon’s Warrior, a seven-length winner of the NATC Futurity at Monmouth Park, and Steady Warrior, the 7 1/4-length winner of the $100,000 Maryland Million Nursery at Laurel Park two weeks ago.

But Uncle Otto ($30.20), the longest shot on the board, played the spoiler’s role by getting up by a length under Rosemary Homeister Jr.

Trained by Skip Einhorn, who came into the race with just 5 wins in 91 starts this season, Uncle Otto had needed four starts to win his maiden by a head in a New Jersey-bred maiden special weight race at Monmouth on Sept. 16. He ran the 5 1/2 furlongs of the First State in 1:04.78.

Steady Warrior, the 4-5 favorite with Jose Caraballo, set early fractions of 21.73 and 45.42 seconds before finishing second, a half-length in front of Poseidon’s Warrior.

* Southern Truth ($8.60), who shipped to Delaware to win last year’s restricted Small Wonder for 2-year-old fillies, returned to capture the $75,000 Tax Free Shopping Distaff for 3-year-old fillies.

Ridden by Anna Napravnik for Monmouth-based trainer Jason Servis, Southern Truth scored by 2 3/4 lengths over Comet of Love while running six furlongs in 1:10.76. It was one of five winners on the card for Napravnik, the leading rider at Delaware with 111 victories, one shy of the single-card track record shared by several riders.

Malibu Moon Dance, the 4-5 favorite, faded and finished sixth.

* Table Talking ($6.40) made up a two-length deficit in the final furlong to run down pacesetter Funky Munky Mama by a neck in the $75,000 Small Wonder for 2-year-old fillies.

Back sprinting on dirt after a one-race experiment going two turns on turf, Table Talking, ridden by Oliver Castillo for Maryland-based trainer Robin Graham, ran 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:05.49.

* The 3-year-old Nathan’s H Q ($5.60), ridden and trained by Clyde Martin, was much the best in the six-furlong, $75,000 New Castle for 3-year-olds and up.

It was the third win in six starts for Nathan’s H Q, but his first since he captured a first-level allowance at Gulfstream Park in March. He ran the six furlongs in 1:03.53 while finishing two lengths in front of another 3-year-old, Rock Solid Arch, who finished a half-length in front of third-place Cayman Condo.

All four stakes were limited to horses that spent a minimum of 90 days on a Delaware farm or training facility prior to March 31 of their 2-year-old year.