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Jul 02, 2010

A Little Warm comes up hot in Delaware

By: By Don Agriss, Horse Racing Editor

Stanton, DE (Sports Network) - Three months after finishing second in the Louisiana Derby, A Little Warm got back into action Tuesday afternoon at Delaware Park. The three-year-old colt returned to racing in a 1 1/16-mile allowance race as the 3-2 morning-line favorite.

Ridden by John Velazquez, A Little Warm ran second behind Miner's Reserve on Delaware's main track. Miner's Reserve, trained by Nick Zito and ridden by Jeremy Rose, took the four horse field up the backstretch and around the final turn.

Sent off as the 3-5 favorite, A Little Warm finally drew even with the 6-5 second choice at the top of the stretch. The favorite notched his second win of the year and the third of his career with a 2 1/4-length victory over Miner's Reserve. A Little Warm stopped the timer at 1:43.60.

There was no show wagering due to the small field. A Little Warm returned $3.20 and $2.10, Miner's Reserve paid $2.60.

"We did not feel our horse was 100 percent going into the race today," said trainer Tony Dutrow, "and for him to give us a performance like that and to fight as hard he did to beat a really nice horse, I think we have to be really happy and looking forward to his future."

Owned by Edward Evans, A Little Warm was originally considered for the Preakness Stakes on May 15. However, he was withdrawn from consideration about a week before the Triple Crown race following an unsatisfactory endoscopic examination.

A Little Warm began 2010 by winning the $100,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes on January 9 at Gulfstream Park. He then came up second to D'Funnybone in the $150,000 Hutcheson Stakes at the South Florida track.

Tuesday's win put A Little Warm's career earnings at $308,880 in eight starts.

Dutrow has the colt nominated to the Barbaro Stakes for three-year-olds at Delaware Park on July 10. However, it appears A Little Warm will rejoin the top echelon of three-year-olds this summer.

"I think right now, Mr. Evans is looking at the Jim Dandy (July 31) at Saratoga for his next start," noted Dutrow.

The Jim Dandy is the traditional prep race for the Travers at Saratoga at the end of August. One day after the Jim Dandy is the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park.

In 2009, Rachel Alexandra won the Haskell with Summer Bird in second. Summer Bird came back to win the Travers and eventually be voted the year's champion three-year-old colt.

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