Burning Roma will look to rebound to his winning ways when he meets eight rivals in the $100,000 Brandywine Stakes at Delaware Park on Saturday.
Winner of the Leonard Richards Stakes at Delaware Park last year, Burning Roma hasn't visited the winner's circle since taking the Long Branch Breeders' Cup at Monmouth Park last July. The Kentucky-bred son of Rubiano opened the 2002 season by running third in the seven-furlong Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) on March 9. He last finished seventh in the grade I Metropolitan Handicap on May 27 at Belmont Park.
The Brandywine won't be a cruise for Burning Roma. He'll be challenged by He's a Knockout, who hopes to stretch his speed in the mile stakes event. In his last two efforts going six furlongs, the 4-year-old son of Two Punch failed to hit the board. However, trainer H. Graham Motion said He's a Knockout has two wins at seven furlongs and thinks he'll be more comfortable with the mile distance.
The Brandywine field includes: Twilight Prince (Eddie Martin, Jr., 120); First Amendment (Eddie Martin, Jr., 123); Burning Roma (Mike McCarthy, 116); Baseball Champion (Mike McCarthy, 116); Marciano (Jeremy Rose, 116); Runspastum (TBA, 116); Beau's Surprise (Clinton Potts, 116); He's a Knockout (Ramon Dominguez, 116); and Top Bunk (Mark Guidry, 119).