Delaware Park horses to watch: White Clay Creek Stakes preview
by Frank Vespe
Delaware Park has gotten the jump on most of the mid-Atlantic by carding some races for two-year-old winners to date, and that trend continues Wednesday and Thursday with a pair of $50,000 stakes for juveniles.
Today’s edition if the 5 1/2 furlong White Clay Creek for two-year-old fillies, and eight are expected to face the starter.
Not surprisingly, there are a number of runners here who own wins in front-running fashion. Chief among those is the morning line favorite, Take Charge Paula (5-2). The Kelly Breen trainee, who will have Paco Lopez in the irons, scored by four lengths in her debut at Monmouth Park, earning a gaudy 63 Beyer speed figure. The fourth-place finisher that day, Dark Artist, broke her maiden on Haskell day, and this one shows a bullet work in the interim.
Another who owns front-end victories is Contrarity (7-2). The Hugh McMahon trainee won at first asking at Laurel Park and then, after a disastrous outing in the Astoria at Belmont Park, cruised to a four-length win in a Delaware Park allowance. The latter was accomplished even though she ripped off an opening quarter-mile in 21 4/5 seconds.
“After her first couple of breezes, she showed us potential,” said trainer Hugh McMahon. “After she broke her maiden, we entered her in the Astoria at Belmont Park because there were not any 2-year-old winner races going at the time. In that race, she did not break well and she got dirt in her face for the first time. She did not respond well to that. In her next race, at Delaware, she broke on top, like her maiden win, and she ran well with another impressive victory. We are a little concerned with her getting the one hole in the stake because I feel like if she gets dirt in her face again, she could do what she did before. But if she gets on the lead, she gets brave and tough.”
Two of Contrarity’s beaten rivals in her most recent try will try their luck again today. Prancing Warrior (8-1) won at first asking, earning a 64 Beyer, but backed out readily when she failed to make the lead agsinst Contrarity. The switch of post positions — she’s moving farther outside and Contrarity farther in — may help, and a more assertive ride from Jose Ferrer would, too. Dialin (6-1) ran third to Contrarity at 12-1 odds after dipping down to maiden claiming ranks to graduate. Her maiden score produced two next-out winners, though, and the Kim Boniface trainee is one of the few in here who’s won a race by running into the pace.
The White Clay Creek is race eight on the card. Post time is 4:45 p.m.
- Prancing Warrior
- Take Charge Paula