Martini Glass aims for first stake win in Obeah
From a Delaware Park release
Vince Campanella and Nation’s Racing Stable’s locally based Martini Glass will be seeking her first career stake victory when she faces ten rivals in the $100,000 Obeah Stakes at Delaware Park this Saturday. The mile-and-an-eighth affair is the local prep for the filly and summer classic—the mile-and-a-quarter $750,000 Grade I Delaware Handicap on Saturday, July 15th.
This year, Martini Glass is unbeaten in three races at Tampa Bay Downs. The Kentucky-bred conditioned by Delaware Park–based trainer Keith Nations has a career record of seven wins and a third from 13 starts with earnings of $95,195.
“She is doing fabulous and she has really stepped up her game this year,” said trainer Keith Nations, who claimed the 4-year-old daughter by Kitalpha for $16,000 when she made her career debut last year. “She is unbeaten so far this year racing at Tampa. She loves the Tampa surface and she did win on the turf in her last race, but with the way she has been training, it looks like she is doing every bit as well here as she was there.”
Last year, after posting three straight impressive victories at Tampa Bay Downs and Pimlico, she posted a record of a win and a third from six starts at Delaware Park, including a pair of disappointing efforts against stakes company.
“We always thought a lot of her after we claimed her,” Nations said. “Last year, I think she just started tailing off when we got to Delaware. She ran maybe a race or two to her ability and then she ran some subpar races, so we tuned her out and gave her a little time. She really developed physically and mentally. Everything she does, whether it is a gallop or breeze, she puts a lot of effort into it. She is really thriving right now and we are looking forward to this opportunity.”
While Nations could not be happier with her, he is going one step at a time. And while a victory could propel her into the Delaware Handicap, he knows she will have her hands full in the Obeah Stakes.
“It is in the back of your mind—just like when you get a good, young 2-year-old or 3-year-old early in the year, you think about Kentucky Derby, and that is why we do what we do,” Nations said. “But we are not going to get ahead of ourselves. We are only going to take one test at a time. We ran her in a stake or two last year and she kind of disappointed. She did run against some good horses at Tampa, but the Obeah is going to be a real test for her. At Tampa, she kind of ran away from those horses. This time around, that will not be the case. If she does win the Obeah, it will be a fight. We will just see how she steps up. But with her, she has to prove she is a stakes horse, so we will find that out Saturday. But if she wins Saturday and she is doing well, she will be in the Delaware Handicap.”
Martini Glass is 8-1 on the morning line for the Obeah. The tepid morning line favorite is Mo’ Green, who’s 7-2.
Locally owned by Jane and Harry Lunger’s Christiana Stables, Obeah won the Delaware Handicap twice in 1969 and 1970 and was the dam of the Hall of Fame filly Go For Wand.
Since the Obeah Stakes was inaugurated in 1996, only the 2006 older female champion Fleet Indian and the winner last year I’m a Chatterbox have won the race and followed with a victory in the Delaware Handicap. Two fillies have finished second in the Obeah and won the Delaware Handicap: Unbridled Belle in 2007 and Power Play in 1997. Three winners of the Obeah Stakes have followed by running second in the Delaware Handicap: 2011 Horse of the year Havre de Grace, Your Out in 2002, and Under the Rug in 2001.