Delaware Park Racing Notebook 2018: Vol. 13
Elate won the G2 Delaware Handicap. Photo by Allison Janezic.
by Doug McCoy
Every week during the Delaware Park racing season, The Racing Biz will publish The Delaware Park Racing Notebook. This page is designed to give helpful information to both horseplayers and horsemen about the racing picture at Delaware Park from the past week.
In the notebook, you’ll find:
- “Horses to watch” section highlighting both horses who have shown promise those who may have had poor “trips” in their last starts.
- “Clocker’s Corner” where track clockers will point out horses who have worked in noteworthy fashion during the past week.
- Track tendencies or biases during the week’s races. While it would be great if every race track was completely fair and even and an equal number of speed horses, stalkers, and closers won each day, observant handicappers know this just isn’t the case. Every track’s tendencies and biases (favored styles) change and vary, often from one racing program to the next due to any number of factors, most notably weather. While these changes are often minor, there are also days where a certain type of horse (like a speed horse) has a decided advantage, and there also days where one portion of the racing strip is a better spot to race over (like the inside) than another.
- Leading trainers and jocks and who’s been hot during the last week.
HORSES TO WATCH
- MIDNIGHT KARMA – This 2-year-old Violence filly broke slowly in her debut on Monday but recovered quickly to shoot up the rail to vie for the lead through an opening half of :45.80. She then pulled away from a field that included well-bred first-time starters trained by Graham Motion and Michael Stidham to win in handy fashion while smoking the six furlongs in 1:10.76. This Greg Compton trainee could have a future.
- WESTERN CRUSADER – This Motion runner won an off-the-turf maiden race and while it would be easy to avoid putting lot of significance into winning a four-horse race, that might be a mistake with this one. Well-bred from the famed Sam-Son racing operation, this big colt was slipping and sliding in his debut over a wet turf course at Saratoga. In his second start he had a horse at his flank through a long drive but refused to let that one get by to secure the win and is still learning. The top pair were 21 lengths clear of the show horse.
- CHIEF OF STAFF – This one was tried around two turns in his third start for sharp horseman Hugh McMahon and seemed to relish being on the lead from the start to wire a solid field. This one may be able to handle a jump in class, especially if he catches a field without a lot of early speed in it.
- BELLA PIERINA – Ran a strange race last time out, running close up early then dropping back through the second turn before being swung wide to finish strong through the late stages to win a $20,000 non winners of two lifetime claiming race.
- CRAZED – This Pecoraro runner who won his last at Laurel continues to train well, posting solid half-mile works in 48 2/5 seconds on 8/20 (best of a dozen at the distance) and 48 3/5 on 8/27.
- FOLK MAGIC – Drilled a quick five furlongs in 1:00.80 for Michael Pino on 08/20 and could better her fifth-place finish with allowance optional claimers next start.
- HONOR THE FLEET – This graded stakes-placed runner hasn’t run since last November but continues to train well for a return, zipping through a half of :47.40 for trainer Louis Albertrani on 08/21, fastest of 25 at the distance.
- JABBAR – This No Mischief juvenile posted a solid five-furlong move of 1:00.80 on 08/21 and looks like it won’t be long before he shows up in the entries.
JOCKEYS AND TRAINERS
A quartet of riders each captured three races last week; Angel Suarez, Carol Cedeno, Fergal Lynch and Shannon Uske each booted home a trio of winners.
Uske, one of the more unnheralded jockeys in the Mid Atlantic, is very quietly having a solid meeting with 11 wins to rank 10th in the standings. The rider has been spent most of the summer splitting her time between Delaware Park and Monmouth and also rode at Tampa Bay Downs this past winter, earning a reputation as a hard worker in the mornings. Her mounts’ winnings payoffs average $12.30, which tells you she’s not riding Cadillacs every day.
Uske ranks 20th in our Delaware jockey rankings (at right), which combine wins, win percentage, earnings per start, and $2 wagering return on investment into a single metric. The ranks are led by Daniel Centeno, who won a couple of times in the last week and has a score of 331.14. That puts him roughly 35 points ahead of meet wins and earnings leader Carol Cedeno, who is second. They are followed by Laurel-based riders Feargal Lynch and Jomar Torres, both enjoying productive meetings in relatively light action, and Angel Suarez.
|8||Pino Mario G||224.40||14||17.72%||$5,132.22||$1.74|
|9||Marin Augusto A||206.64||16||17.20%||$3,257.31||$1.87|
|14||Garcia Jose Angel||169.99||20||13.61%||$2,439.13||$1.40|
|15||Coa Keiber J||164.78||24||11.37%||$2,482.78||$1.28|
|18||Vargas Jr Jorge A||153.90||5||11.11%||$4,435.44||$1.16|
|21||Acosta J D||146.50||3||12.00%||$3,379.80||$1.32|
|24||Betancourt Jose R||133.91||8||8.08%||$1,335.98||$1.75|
|1||Gonzalez Claudio A||355.67||12||38.71%||$11,365||$2.68|
|5||Motion H Graham||236.45||9||23.08%||$7,455||$1.86|
|6||Carrasco Jr Victor||234.76||11||26.19%||$3,428||$2.30|
|7||Ashby Lynn A||232.67||10||25.64%||$7,156||$1.52|
|9||Gorham Michael E||224.95||11||18.97%||$4,267||$2.34|
|12||Ritchey Timothy F||207.87||7||29.17%||$4,588||$1.60|
|13||Bennett Gerald S||202.60||14||18.42%||$3,773||$1.50|
|14||Simoff Andrew L||194.67||8||26.67%||$3,614||$1.52|
|15||Wasiluk Jr Peter||184.79||5||15.63%||$2,593||$2.66|
|16||Tsirigotis Jr James||184.53||4||17.39%||$2,336||$2.72|
|17||McMahon Hugh I||176.74||5||19.23%||$3,210||$2.04|
|18||Lake Scott A||175.94||15||16.30%||$2,411||$1.12|
|19||Neilson Wallace C||167.47||7||17.50%||$1,696||$2.01|
|20||Proctor Thomas F||145.55||5||15.63%||$5,655||$0.86|
|22||Cronk Samuel F||138.29||4||11.76%||$2,242||$1.88|
|24||Rodriguez Jose S||134.97||3||13.04%||$1,948||$1.90|
|27||Raymond Robert A||128.32||4||12.90%||$2,279||$1.52|
|30||Stauffer Sr Arthur F||94.61||3||5.45%||$1,260||$1.50|
|32||Sienkewicz William M||86.47||3||11.54%||$1,891||$0.70|
|34||Powell Mark K||79.18||5||7.69%||$1,193||$0.68|
|36||Epley Jr Steve||68.30||2||6.67%||$2,383||$0.56|
On the trainer’s side of the slate five trainers won a pair of races last week. Graham Motion, Anthony Pecoraro, Hugh McMahon, Dale Capuano and Aimee Hall each took two races.
Hall, a veteran horsewoman, is enjoying a successful stand at Delaware. She has been training more than 27 years and while she’s seen some lean times in recent seasons, she has always been known as a solid trainer who manages to get the most from stock that may not be as fashionably bred as the competition. This season she’s only sent 21 horses to the post, but five of those won and six others finished second, meaning more than half her runners ran one-two.
In our trainer rankings (at left), Claudio Gonzalez and Anthony Pecoraro remain first and second. The former leads the colony in win percentage and earnings per start and is second in wagering return on investment. The latter is tied for second in the colony with 15 wins, though six behind Jamie Ness. The top five in our rankings are rounded out by Arnaud Delacour, Gary Capuano, and Graham Motion. Ness is eighth.
TRACK BIAS REPORT
- 08/22 – The strip played reasonably fair for the mid-week program with runners rallying from three to the five path enjoying the most success.
- 08/23 – The surface was fair again on Thursday and here again, runners in the middle of the strip seemed to travel the best while advancing into the stretch.
- 08/25 – The track seemed to be a little quicker and tighter on Saturday with speed rivals and close-up prompters and stalkers doing the best. The inside remained a bit dull and most riders placed their mounts at least two to three paths removed from the rail when they could.
- 08/27 – Monday’s surface continued to be a bit quicker and tighter than the norm as two horses on the program ran six furlongs in 1:10 and change.