In Focus: Wagering G3 Delaware Oaks Pick Four
Gone Away. Photo by George Adams.
Our In Focus Guide offers the most in-depth analysis and commentary on the four stakes on Saturday’s Delaware Oaks card at Delaware Park.
RACE 8 – G3 ROBERT G. DICK MEMORIAL S.
RACE PARTICULARS: Fillies and mares, 3yo and up, 1 3/8 miles turf, $200,000 purse, post time 4:50 P.M.
- #1 Bishop’s Pond (10-1) – The only runner here with a win at the trip arrives off a useful try in the 1 1/16 mile Eatontown. Consistent sort has competed against similar, and figures to be a forward factor…
- #4 Zipessa (2-1) – Major class advantage for a runner who’s made nine of 12 career starts in graded company, winning last year’s G3 Dr. James Penney Memorial. Interesting to see this Stidham trainee picks up money rider Jersey Joe Bravo…
- #9 Paige (3-1) – Recent form makes her competitive here, and patient trainer Clement has a positive ROI off similar layoffs. Only mount for NY-based rider Cancel.
- #6 Guilty Twelve (12-1) – Improving mare kicked off ’17 with a win last out, and two back ran credibly in stake at KD, which produced a next-out G1 winner…
PICK 4 PLAY
$0.50 base wager, races 8-11
Race 8: 1, 4, 6, 9
Race 9: 4, 10
Race 10: 3, 6, 11
Race 11: 2, 3, 5
Total wager: $36.00
FIELD IN FULL
- Bishop’s Pond (10-1) – The only runner here with a win at the 11-furlong trip arrives off a useful try in the 1 1/16 mile Eatontown. Consistent sort has competed against similar, and no reason to think she can’t do so here. Nik Juarez has the mount.
- Northern Smile (5-1) – Kelly Rubley trainee ran a big one at long odds two back in the one-mile Dahlia but was never involved in finishing sixth last out in the 12-furlong Keertana at CD. This Maryland-bred Outflanker mare isn’t bad, but 5-1 odds would be pretty tough to accept on a runner who’s never won in seven stakes tries.
- Tricky Escape (10-1) – Slipped through inside to reach contention in last before having to wait for running room. That was a big effort at long odds, but no reason to think she can’t do it again; two-back third probably better than it looks, as two others from top four to run back won next out and the winner ran second in a stake. Note that she finished just a nose behind the chalk in here last out, and regular pilot Forest Boyce remains aboard.
- Zipessa (2-1) – Major class advantage for a runner who’s made nine of 12 career starts in graded company, winning last year’s G3 Dr. James Penney Memorial, placing in a couple of Grade 1 events, and beaten just three in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf. She cleared to the lead before emptying out late in her last. Interesting to see this Stidham trainee picks up money rider Jersey Joe Bravo in the irons. On her third off a break, she figures a major player in this event.
- Gone Away (10-1) – Finished just behind Tricky Escape two back, then was ultra-impressive in blitzing a Laurel allowance field. She was a longshot winner of last year’s Hilltop S. at PIM but hadn’t found the winner’s circle since until her last. Four-year-old might be about to find her stride again; note that long chart comment says she appeared to have something in reserve at the wire.
- Guilty Twelve (12-1) – Improving mare kicked off ’17 with a win last out, and two back ran credibly against stakes rivals at KD, a race from which the winner returned to best G1 rivals. This one’s frequent breaks are a cause for concern, but she’s usually run well out of them -so maybe not. No reason to think she can’t give a good account of herself here.
- Happyness (8-1) – First start of ’17 and first in Graham Motion barn for this British-bred; she certainly looked the part in his first two North American tries, but last, in first foray into stakes company, was a mess, finishing ninth as the favorite; that day’s winner, Paige, is here today.
- Giovanna Blues (12-1) – Was not competitive in a solid edition of the G2 Dance Smartly last out. Runners from her two-back win were 0-for-9 next out. Her sire, Gio Ponti, excelled at this type of distance, but it’s fair to say she’ll need a career-best effort to compete here.
- Paige (3-1) – Couldn’t hang with multiple graded winner Suffused in a pair of recent tries, but no shame in that. Solid recent form makes her competitive here, and though she’s been away since March, patient trainer Clement generally doesn’t show up where he can’t be in the mix – he has a positive ROI off similar layoffs. Expect a good effort here.
Sweet on Smokey. Photo by Laurie Asseo.
Race 9 — DASHING BEAUTY STAKES
RACE PARTICULARS: Fillies and mares, 3yo and up, 6 furlongs, $50,000 purse, post time 5:25 p.m.
- #4 Spanish Concert (8-1) – Owns six wins at this trip, including in Tampa’s Minaret three back, when she beat next-out G3 winner Southern Ring. Could be speed of the speed here with Daniel Centeno up…
- #10 Sweet On Smokey (7-2) –Veteran looks to defend title here, gave a good account of herself last out when third – beaten just two lengths – in the Skipat at Pimlico after a troubled trip. Working well…
- #5 Bodacious Babe (8-1) – Needs to find her ’16 and early ‘17 form, but if the morning line is a guide, the price will be square…
- #8 Malibu Princess (6-1) – Improving Rudy Rodriguez trainee has been checking off conditions and makes first foray into stakes company here. May appreciate the cutback in distance here after emptying out in last…
FIELD IN FULL
- Caitlyn’s Wish (12-1) – Tough assignment for this runner, making just her second start of the season. Not inclined to judge her last – her first on turf – too harshly, but she’ll definitely need her running shoes to factor here.
- Pink Mama (4-1) – Astute Gerald Bennett claim arrives on a six-race winning streak, most with ease, and has won seven of 10 career starts at the trip. She should be forwardly placed early and with meet leader Carol Cedeno up, has the right to be around late, too.
- Miss Inclusive (5-1) – John Servis trainee spend most of ’16 trying to go two turns, with mostly middling results, but kicked off her ’17 campaign like a born sprinter, cruising to a four-length win in a PRX allowance. Interesting to see that Servis brings rider Frankie Pennington along for the trip, too. This should provide a solid test of whether sprinting’s really her bag.
- Spanish Concert (8-1) – This stakes winner tired late to fourth last out in the grassy Blue Sparkler, but she owns six wins at this trip, including in Tampa’s Minaret three back, when she beat next-out G3 winner Southern Ring. She figures to be the speed of the speed here with Daniel Centeno up, and they’ll need to run her down.
- Bodacious Babe (8-1) – Needs to find her ’16 and early ‘17 form, when she won a restricted stake and placed in a pair of open stakes – but in her third off a brief freshening, that’s not out of the question, and if the morning line is a guide, the price will be square.
- Vanidosa (12-1) – It would be a true shocker if this miss – still eligible for an N1X allowance and working on an 11-race losing streak – won this event.
- My Magician (12-1) – If you look waaay back, to the third race of her career, nearly three years ago, you’ll find this Street Magician filly’s lone stakes win, at 28-1 odds in the Maryland Million Lassie. Her best outcome in a half-dozen stakes tries since was a third in the ’15 Maryland Million Distaff, and it’s hard to see a different outcome here. She does make her first start for trainer Claudio Gonzalez, who claimed her for $25,000 last out.
- Malibu Princess (6-1) – Improving Rudy Rodriguez trainee has been checking off her conditions and makes her first foray into stakes company here. She emptied out late in her last, going seven furlongs, and may appreciate the cutback in distance here.
- Campeona (10-1) – City Sharpster mare enters on a modest two-race win streak, both against allowance foes. She’ll be hoping for a heated-up pace to melt down so she can employ her late kick to best effect, but she’s a deserving longshot in here.
- Sweet On Smokey (7-2) – Solid veteran gave a good account of herself last out when third – beaten just two lengths – in the Skipat at Pimlico after a troubled trip. She shows four works since, including a bullet half-mile on July 1, probably will get a mid-pack trip here, and rates a solid shot to inch closer to $500,000 career earnings.
Renown. Photo by The Racing Biz.
Race 10 — CAPE HENLOPEN STAKES
RACE PARTICULARS: 3-year olds and up, 1 1/2 miles turf, $50,000 purse, post time 6:02 p.m.
- #11 Street Fashion (4-1) – Has finished behind Renown twice, including in this event, by a nose, last year, but enters off a good allowance victory at BEL and figures to find a good spot to run from. If he’s going to turn the tables, this might be the race…
- #3 Postulation (15-1) – Trainer Graham used this race to set up Hardest Core for win in the ’14 G1 Arlington Million. Has seen some terrific runners in last two…
- #6 Renown (3-1) –Graded winner closed 21 lengths in the middle of a strangely run Belmont Gold Cup before fading from the scene, but if we toss that, the defending champ gives every indication of being a major player here…
- #4 Top of Mind (5-1) – Nearly got the money in ’16 G2 Commonwealth Turf Cup, was beaten just two in the Henry S. Clark (see Postulation above). Note 7-furlong work in preparation …
FIELD IN FULL
- Quiet Kitten (6-1) – Didn’t show much in season debut, tiring after being part of the early pace. Will need to find way back to good 2016 efforts; sheds blinks today.
- Mr Singh (10-1) – Runners from his last have been 0-for-8 in their follow-ups, and his second two back in the Secretariat at GrM came to one of today’s rivals. Likely to need more than addition of blinkers to get the money here.
- Postulation (15-1) – Trainer Graham used this race to set up Hardest Core for a win in the G1 Arlington Million three years ago. Has been keeping the right sort of company; last out winner is a Laurel track record-setter and runner-up a former G1 winner; Henry S. Clark two back produced two next-out graded stakes winners including G1 winner Ascend. An improved effort here is not out of the question.
- Top of Mind (5-1) – Nearly got the money in last year’s G2 Commonwealth Turf Cup, was beaten just two in the Henry S. Clark (see Postulation above). Showed little last out in the G2 Dixie. Note 7-furlong work in preparation to go farther than ever before.
- Diana’s Vendetta (20-1) – This runner was beaten 47 lengths in this event last year and looks to be seriously out of his depth here.
- Renown (3-1) – Maybe two miles was too far? Graded winner closed 21 lengths in the middle of a strangely run Belmont Gold Cup before fading from the scene, but if we toss that, the defending champ gives every indication of being a major player here.
- Rum Tum Tugger (8-1) – This Jonathan Sheppard trainee was a well-beaten fourth behind three of these in the Secretariat and looks to be a cut below the best in here.
- Domo Artiegato (15-1) – Ran eighth in Postulation’s last race (when that one was sixth) and was third in the Secretariat. Has a first and a third in two tries at the trip.
- Aquaphobia (10-1) – Arnaud Delacour-trained runner won the Stanton over the strip last year. Out of the multiple G1 winner Pussycat Doll, he closed nicely last out to win against PEN allowance foes; continued improvement a must if he is to contend here.
- Little Big Sime (20-1) – CT-based trainer Joe Stehr hasn’t started a horse on the turf in five years, and this guy has made a nice living on his home track without ever trying the green stuff. Not a lot of grass in the close-up pedigree, either. You’d need a big, big number to make it worth your while here.
- Street Fashion (4-1) – Has finished behind Renown twice, including in this event, by a nose, last year, but enters this one off a good victory over allowance foes at BEL and figures to find a good spot to run from. If ever he’s going to turn the tables, this might be the race.
Actress. Photo by Laurie Asseo.
Race 11 — GRADE 3 DELAWARE OAKS
RACE PARTICULARS: Grade 3, Purse $300,000, post time 6:35 p.m., 66th running, 3-year-old fillies, 1 1/16 miles
- #3 It Tiz Well – Mmm, that chalk sure is tasty; tactical ability, company lines, connections say this one’s the winner.
- # 2 Proud and Fearless – Crushed her elders last out in what on paper looked like a wide-open affair; can’t be more formful than this miss.
- #5 Berned – Draw a line through the G1 Starlet and this one hasn’t done a thing wrong.
- #6 Actress – Deep closer likely to be compromised by pace, and concerned about lack of activity in last two months – but she’s got some talent…
FIELD IN FULL
- You Know Too (10-1) – Speedy sort was the easiest kind of winner last out against allowance foes in a race that produced a next-out winner, and she showed a new dimension that day, relaxing behind the pace before making her move. But – and a big but – that was at 5 ½ furlongs, which is a long way from today’s two-turn distance. Breeding says she’ll do this, but she’ll need a career-best effort to contend here.
- Proud and Fearless (8-1) – Rapidly improving sort bested her elders easily last out and looks like she’s ready to take the plunge here. She brings a three-race winning streak to the party and has been training well since her last.
- It Tiz Well (8-5) – Gotta believe trainer Jerry Hollendorfer isn’t shipping east from California without having every intention of getting the money here, and this miss has kept the right company. A G3 winner, she finished third in the Santa Anita Oaks behind freakish winner Paradise Woods – but just a couple behind runner-up Abel Tasman, who’s won two straight G1 races since. She had a rough trip last out but certainly has every right to run big here.
- Modacious (4-1) – Thrashed as the favorite last out with no great excuse in the Light Hearted over the strip, this one has kept decent company – running in a pair of G2 events at GP – but looks likely to need a big step forward to take this one.
- Berned (9-2) – Throw out the debacle in the G1 Starlet, and this Bernardini filly hasn’t done much wrong. She was beaten less than a length when second in the G3 Tempted behind Miss Sky Warrior, and that runner ran off a streak of four straight graded wins. This runner, now in the Graham Motion barn, was clearly best last out in winning an allowance at MTH over Light Hearted show horse Teresa Z. Note that Motion and rider F. Lynch hit at 35 percent together.
- Actress (5-2) – First try around two turns did the trick for this Tapit filly, who came from the clouds to win the G2 Black-Eyed Susan at long odds. She hasn’t run since and shows just a single work in the interim. That’s one possible cause for concern; another is that there just doesn’t appear to be enough pace to give this one the setup she’s going to want.