10/11/2010 2:53PM

Whistle Pig a model of consistency

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Amber Robinson/Coady Photography
Whistle Pig has finished in the money in 39 of his 48 career starts.

Hard-knocking 6-year-old gelding Whistle Pig was one of six horses entered in the $50,000 Hard Spun Stakes on Wednesday at Delaware Park, and Whistle Pig exemplifies the weirdness that is the dirt-sprint division this year.

Two races ago, on Sept. 12 at Parx Racing, Whistle Pig finished a closing second in a high-end allowance race, beaten a neck by Riley Tucker. That’s the same Riley Tucker who came back to finish second in the Grade 1 Vosburgh on Oct. 2, and who ranks as a top-10 contender in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Meanwhile, Whistle Pig may not even be favored in a $50,000 stakes mid-week at Delaware Park. Go figure.

Whistle Pig swung back into action just 10 days after the Riley Tucker loss, winning a Tapeta sprint at Presque Isle in sharp fashion. The gelding, owned and trained by Andrew Carter, has been a hallmark of consistency throughout his career, with 16 wins, 14 seconds, and 9 thirds in 48 starts. Yep – 48 races, and 39 finishes of third or better.

Trainer Scott Lake entered two in the Hard Spun, with Pashito the Che likely to take more betting action than Piratesonthelake. Pashito the Che, one of the speed horses, is 3 for 3 at Delaware, and has been third or better in 15 of his 16 career starts. He was beaten a neck by Whistle Pig on Sept. 12, but was making his first start after a long layoff that afternoon. Piratesonthelake, claimed for $50,000 over the winter, won for a $75,000 claiming tag on June 14 at Delaware, and has not started since July 3.

Manito, well drawn on the outside, makes his stakes debut for trainer Steve Hobby, and could not come into the Hard Spun any sharper. Back from an extended vacation in June, Manito won a $25,000 conditioned claimer by five, and has come back with a pair of open-lengths allowance scores at Delaware.

Rail-drawn Silver Edition was a Grade 3-type sprinter in 2009, but has failed to finish better than fifth in five 2010 starts for trainer Wayne Lukas.