Delaware Park Racing Notebook, Vol. 1

by | Jun 14, 2017 | Breaking, DE Racing, Delaware, Racing, Top Stories | 1 comment

Master Plan

Master Plan won the Stanton Stakes at Delaware Park. Photo by Kathleen O’Leary.

by Doug McCoy

Every week during the Delaware Park racing season, The Racing Biz will posts The DelPark 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.


  • LAWYER DAVE – made a big middle move to loom a threat only to tire late in first start in six months. Should be tough next out with that effort under his belt
  • MISS GRACER – Uncle Mo half-sister to crack sprinter Cinco Charlie, a $609,000 stakes winner, blew the doors off her competiton in her debut for trainer Michael Stidham and looks like a horse with a future.
  • PRANCING WARRIOR – Good looking Jersey-bred first time starter turned back heavy favorite to win at first asking for veteran horseman Chuck Spina in his debut. Look for this 2-year-old in Jersey-bred stakes at Monmouth.
  • SING DIXIE – Solid third in very competitive maiden dash, showing gritty determination. Keep on eye on this one next out.
  • PACHI THE GREY – was very game last start, eventually being elevated to top spot in a very good maiden 2-year-old sprint, and looks to have lot of heart for a young horse.
  • EIGHTYEIGHTMPH – was disqualified after battling with Pachi the Grey through long drive in debut but showed a lot of positives in that race and also looks like a young horse with promise.
  • NICKYROCKSFORPOPS – took up and shuffled back in first turn but recovered to post a solid 2nd to a runaway winner. Be tough with clean trip.


Delaware Park clocker has this to say about several noteworthy morning moves

  • PROUD REUNION-put in a solid six furlong work of 1;15.2 on June 11. (The Tom Proctor maiden finished third recently after ducking out at the start in his first start since August of 2016 and figures to be tough to handle off this latest move.)
  • D. S. BOYD-snappy five-furlong work from the gate on June 10th in 1:01.2, could be sharp off the bench when he runs off six month break.
  • NO DISTORTION-remains in top form as evidenced by his 1:01.4 drill on 06/11. (No Distortion ran into a buzz saw who won by more than 13 in an optional allowance 7 furlong sprint at Laurel in last start)

Brian Pedroza

Brian Pedroza at Delaware Park. Photo by

On the jockey side of the slate Brian Pedroza and red hot apprentice Jomar Torres each won 4 races to top a crowded leaderboard. Average mutuel pay off for Torres’ winners was $15.50.

One of the surprises near the top is Adamar Santos, a journeyman rider who is a Tampa Bay Downs regular. Santos, known for his strong work ethic, is off to a fast start and won with three of the nine mounts he rode. His average winning return was a whopping $21.90!


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Of the locally based trainers three horsemen, Scott Lake, Tony Pecoraro and Mike Gorham have all gotten off to quick start. Each has won 3 races at the meeting. Lake and Pecoraro are both winning at a 30 percent clip, while Gorham won with three of his first five starters. It should also be noted that unlike Jorge Navarro, who won with three of four horses who were all dropping in class (average mutuel payoff: $5.40), Lake’s winners averaged $11.90, while Pecoraro horses’ average payoff was $13.10. Gorham’s winners did even better, paying an average of $22.40 for a two-buck wager.

Joe Arboritanza started 7 horses, winning two with two others finishing second. Newcomer Jeff Trosclair whose family has been racing for more than 40 years, had a winner and second from three starters and it would be wise to keep an eye on this stable.


Power of Snunner

Power of Snunner won the Obeah at Delaware Park. Photo by Kathleen O’Leary.

The Delaware Park racing strip has usually been a speed favoring surface in the past. Horses in front in the stretch were, in past years, tough to run down, and while late runners did win some, they usually needed a hot early pace to help their chances.

Through the first six racing programs this year the surface has been kinder to stalker/closer types than normal. Horses racing mid pack off the pace but not too far back were able to close out of the turn in the three- to five-path and rally past the leaders in a number of races last week.

The notable exception was Saturday, June 10.  The surface for that program was decidedly speed favoring and the horses racing on the lead and on the inside portion of the track had a decided advantage through the afternoon. A graphic example of the bias helping a horse in a crucial portion of the race was the Obeah, in which Edwin Gonzalez and Princess of Snunner were able to come back again along the inside after being headed in the stretch after leading early to capture that $100,000 stake.

If you keep a daily track rating for tendencies and biases (and it’s a smart thing to do), put a circle around June 10.