Delaware Park horses to watch: July 20
by Frank Vespe
There’s a nine-race card at Delaware Park today, and the finale is for Arabians. Post time is 1:15 p.m. Some horses to watch:
- The seventh is a first-level allowance/optional claimer with a $36,000 purse for fillies and mares three and up going six furlongs on the main track. There are plenty of ways to go in this one; La Key (4-1) defeated similar last out, for example, while Taurine (2-1) won at first asking at Belmont last year and hasn’t been able to score a second victory in five follow-up tries but could move forward here in her second race of the year. But the one we’re most intrigued by is Into Bluegrass (3-1). Yes, it’s a cruddy name, but this sophomore Into Mischief filly rallied from last to win her debut last month at 11-1 odds and shows a couple of solid works in the meantime. Five-pound bug Ashley Castrenze will ride for trainer Mike Trombetta.
- A salty crew of hard-hitters is set to line up for the eighth, a second-level allowance/optional claimer for three-year-olds and up going six furlongs on the main track, with familiar names like Blu Moon Ace, recently fourth against better, the formful Parade of Nations, and nine-year-old Good Feng Shui among the entrants. Our horse of interest isn’t likely to offer any betting value, but three-year-old Running Mate (3-2) is an intriguing prospect. The Larry Jones-trained Creative Cause colt won the first two starts of his career, one over the strip, and was just 4-1 at post time in the Grade 3 LeComte at the Fair Grounds January 21. He finished ninth that day — showing speed before backing out — and makes his first start since then today. He shows four works at gradually increasing distances in preparation, the last two bullets, and will have Brian Pedroza up.
- Here’s one to watch from yesterday’s action: two-year-old Kowboy Karma simply ran past his half-dozen rivals en route to posting a dazzling 12-length victory in his career debut. Running time for the six furlongs was a sharp 1:09.70. Kowboy Karma, a Kodiak Kowboy gelding, is trained by Larry Jones for himself, wife Cindy, and Michael Pressley.
Arabian handicapping provided courtesy of our friends at Arabian Finish Line.
The last race of the day is an allowance/optional claiming race for Arabians going one mile, and it’s going to be a good one. It features a stellar field, including Thess Is Awesome and Quick And Rich who had an incredible stretch duel in their last meeting (where Thess Is Awesome just prevailed). RB Nash finished a well-beaten third in that race, but still must be respected based on his prior form. Then there is Darley Champion Easter Man who is making his first appearance since finishing second in the grade 1 race at Santa Anita (defeating the likes of Thess Is Awesome and Quick And Rich). He will be tough. A curiosity here is Burn Notice MC, a first time starter who presumably skipped the earlier maiden race to avoid having to run for a tag. He is bred similarly to the great Paddys Day (by leading sire Burning Sand out of a daughter of leading broodmare sire Virgule Al Maury) so he has the pedigree to run with the big boys. Still, this is a really tough spot for a first-timer.