Delaware Park Racing Notebook, Vol. 3

by | Jun 28, 2017 | Breaking, DE Racing, Delaware, Racing, Top Stories

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.


  • LARKIN – This well-bred maiden first time starter from the Stidham barn fell back early in her debut, then was eating up ground inside through the late stages of a turf route. Got a good education from that start and should be sitting on a top effort next out.
  • SO CHARMING – Closed like a shot along the far outside in her debut. Look for this Matz runner to run big next out on the grass, especially if race is a longer than seven and a half furlongs.
  • DISTORTED UNION – Made a good middle move to a 1/5 favorite in an off the turf race, and if he duplicates that effort next start in a field with some speed in it he’ll be tough.
  • INTO BLUEGRASS – First-time starter came from last in a maiden sprint to win at first asking, and even though the final quarter mile was slow, the way this filly closed suggests she’s got a future, especially going longer.
  • SLIM FIT – Leggy Tiznow filly dueled for lead early in her debut, shook clear, then just came up a bit short late. A $335,000 purchase, she’s got dazzling turf blood. Look for her on the grass next start.


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

  • PROUD AND FEARLESS – worked a sharp five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 preparing to go after his fourth straight win for Larry Jones.
  • DEBT CEILING – drilled a sharp five furlongs in 1:00 flat and is training forwardly for his first start in six months.
  • BOBBY THE BRAIN – This Michael Stidham optional allowance claiming type worked a solid five furlongs in 1:01 1/5 and is close to returning to action after a four-month freshening.

Ashley Castrenze

Ashley Castrenze at Delaware Park. Photo by

Mitchell Murrill, who rides the bulk of the Mike Stidham-trained runners, won with three of ten mounts last week, finishing second on two others and has impressed observers with his willingness to ride tight and split rivals at crucial moments. Veteran Orlando Bochachica won with half of the six starters he rode last week as well as finishing second with another and is another cagey rider who is especially effective on the turf. Ashley Castrenze won with 3 of the 11 mounts she accepted while Danny Centeno rode just four horses last week but won with two of those starters.


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Longtime Delaware Park training mainstay Anthony Pecoraro’s stable was clicking on all cylinders last week. Pecoraro sent out six runners from 06/19 through 06/24, winning with two of those starters while two others finished second.

Michael Catalano also enjoyed good success last week, winning with two of the five horses he saddled with another starter finishing second. Jorge Navarro continues to win consistently with the horses he’s been shipping in from Monmouth. Navarro won with two of the four horses he ran last week while another Navarro runner ran second. For the meet, Navarro has won with five of eight starters.

Andrew Simoff, a solid horseman who is also adept at purchasing racing stock from the West Coast, won with two of his four starters. Simoff’s runners are often taken lightly by bettors, which is a mistake.

Michael Stidham won with two of the three horses he started last week, and players can expect this outfit with some very well bred runners to continue to be a factor throughout the meeting.





Power of Snunner

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

  • 06/19-The track played reasonably even for this card with the 3-4-5 paths still being the preferred portion of the strip to utilize and the rail was still a bit dead.
  • 06/21-The surface for the Wednesday card favored close up-chasers and stalkers and the middle of the surface (the 3-4-5 paths) continued to be the portion of the track most of the winners used en route to victory in the main track races.
  • 06/22-The chaser/stalker types continue to be the most successful and the middle of the strip continued to be the preferred path for those rallying to the lead into the stretch.
  • 06/24-ATTENTION BIAS PLAYERS-An early morning downpour left the track wet but as the strip dried out during the course of the day it became more and more tiring, producing a decided closer-favoring surface. Horses who made late runs had a distinct advantage, and speed types faltered badly through the stretch.