Joint Return in the 2014 Busher.  Photo by Joe Labozzetta, NYRA.

Joint Return in the 2014 Busher. Photo by Joe Labozzetta, NYRA.

From a Delaware Park release

A field of eleven have been entered in the Grade III Obeah Stakes at Delaware Park on Saturday. This mile and an eighth race prepares horses for the local filly and mare summer classic, the mile and a quarter $750,000 Grade I Delaware Handicap on July 18.

RMJ Stable’s Fortune Pearl, the Delaware Oaks winner last year, tops the upcoming $100,000 Obeah Stakes. She opened her 4-year-old season with a half-length triumph in a mile and a sixteenth allowance at Keeneland on April 4.  The Kentucky-bred trained by H. Graham Motion followed by finishing seventh, after bobbling at the start, in the Grade III DuPont Distaff at Pimlico on May 15.

Last year, the daughter of Mineshaft posted a record of two victories, including the $300,000 Delaware Oaks from seven starts.  She also ran finished third in the Grade II Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico and fourth in the Grade I Alabama Stakes at Saratoga.  She has a career record of four wins, two seconds and a third from ten starts with earnings of $340,947.


Fortune Pearl will be renewing a rivalry with Main Line Racing Stable’s Joint Return.  Last year, the pair met three times in the Black-Eyed Susan. During the race, Fortune Pearl finished third and Joint Return finished fourth; in the Delaware Oaks, Fortune Pearl was the winner and Joint Return finished second; and in the Alabama Stakes, Joint Return finished second and Fortune Pearl finished fourth.

Conditioned by John Servis, Joint Return won the $50,000 Our Mims Stakes at Delaware Park, Calder Oaks, and the Busher Stakes at Aqueduct last year. The 4-year-old Kentucky-bred of Include has a career record of five wins, two seconds and two thirds from 15 starts with earnings of $443,154.

“The Delaware Handicap is definitely on the radar for us,” said trainer John Servis.  “She has shown us a fondness for the mile and a quarter distance and for Delaware Park, so we are definitely using the Obeah as a prep for the Delaware Handicap.  We have been looking forward to the Delaware Handicap since the beginning of the season and we are really excited about our filly.”

In addition, Susan Knoll’s Blue Violet will be seeking her first victory of the season in the Obeah Stakes.  In her most recent start, the 5-year-old daughter of Curlin finished fourth in the Grade III DuPont Distaff at Pimlico.  Previously, the Kentucky-bred, trained by J. Larry Jones, finished third in the mile and a sixteenth Grade III Doubledogdare at Keeneland on April 17.  In her only other start this year, she finished fourth in the Houston Lady Classic at Sam Houston on January 24.  Last year, she finished second in the $50,000 Winter Melody Stakes, seventh in the Grade III Obeah Stakes and won a mile and seventy yard allowance at Delaware Park.  She has a career record of four wins, three seconds and three thirds from 21 starts with earnings of $226,856.

“Right now everything is on target for her,” said trainer J. Larry Jones.  “She is doing a good and we are looking forward to the race.  The game plan is to use the Obeah Stakes as a springboard for the Delaware Handicap, so we do have the big race in mind for her.  She is a 5-year-old and this will be her last year of racing, so trying to get to the Delaware Handicap.”


[su_box title=”GRADE 3 OBEAH STAKES ENTRIES” style=”glass”]
  1. Perique/20-1
  2. Another Incident/6-1
  3. Fortune Pearl/3-1
  4. Blue Violet/6-1
  5. Natalie Victoria/15-1
  6. South Andros/20-1
  7. Montana Native/4-1
  8. Amblin Easy/12-1
  9. Joint Return/5-1
  10. Luna Time/15-1
  11. Sea Shadow/12-1