Immortal Eyes, the popular nine year-old millionaire whose 2013 season was the best of his career, is entered in Wednesday’s six-furlong Hockessin Stakes at Delaware Park. It would be the gelding’s first start since April, and the first for his new connections.
Owned for the productive part of his career by former Washington, DC restaurateur Bobby Abbo, Immortal Eyes was sold to trainer/owner David Jacobson following Abbo’s passing in April. The horse ran second in the Charles Town Dash on April 19, the day before Abbo’s death, and has a win and a second from two starts in 2014.
Long considered a Charles Town specialist, Immortal Eyes, who has won 11 times going 4 1/2 furlongs at that oval, unexpectedly surged to a banner 2013 campaign when he took his show on the road. After his disappointing fifth place finish in the Grade 3 Maryland Sprint Handicap — and after nearly selling him — Abbo and trainer Damon Dilodovico sent the son of Greatness-Private Eyes, by Private Terms to Monmouth Park. There, Immortal Eyes reeled off three straight wins, including a seven-length score in the Mr. Prospector Stakes and a neck win in the Teddy Drone Stakes, before finishing second behind Ribo Bobo in the Icecapade.
That defeat didn’t slow Immortal Eyes at all, however, and in his next start, he scored the biggest win of his career.
Dismissed at nearly 10-1 in the $350,000 Frank J. DeFrancis Memorial Dash at Laurel Park, Immortal Eyes shot to the early lead and ran off to a nearly seven-length score on the sloppy going. He registered the highest Beyer speed figure of his career that day, earning a 108.
The DeFrancis victory put the exclamation point on a season in which the horse won six times and earned $427,500.
In Wednesday’s Hockessin, Immortal Eyes is 5-1 in the morning line in a race which has come up tougher than the $50,000 purse might suggest. Jose Caraballo, who has won with 10 of 34 runners at Delaware, has the mount. The field also includes 2014 Grade 3 General George winner Bandbox (8-1), consistent hard-hitter Service for Ten (4-1), and defending champ Picko’s Pride (6-1). Another Jacobson trainee, Royal Currier, is the 7-2 morning line favorite. He most recently was third in the Diablo at Belmont Park.
Post time for the Hockessin Stakes is 3:57 p.m.
(Featured image of Immortal Eyes by Laurie Asseo.)