Delaware Park Racing Notebook, Vol. 7
by Doug McCoy
Every week during the Delaware Park racing season, The Racing Biz will publish The Delaware Park 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.
HORSES TO WATCH
- KOWBOY KARMA – Followers of trainer Larry Jones may recall that Jones superstars like Hard Spun and Proud Spell won at first asking at Delaware Park. Don’t look now, but Jones might have another monster in Kowboy Karma, who obliterated a maiden field by more than 12 lengths in 1:09.70 in his coming out party last week. Kowboy Karma, a Kodiak Cowboy gelding, was bred by Jones and his wife Cindy, and they own the two-year-old in partnership with Michael Pressley. It’s a long way from a maiden win at Delaware Park to graded stakes status, but if Kowboy Karma’s first race was any indication, the Jones gang may well have another rising star under their shed row.
- THE BIG GIANT HEAD – This one showed good early speed in the race Kowboy Karma won then was eased back off the pace and slowly faded after a half. The Chloe Bradley runner got some valuable seasoning and experience in that debut and this one might light up the board soon, especially if entered with Pennsylvania-breds.
- HOWDY BOY – Pecoraro maiden dropped back midway through his debut in a turf route then came back on again along the inside through the stretch. With some better placement this one could score with turf maidens.
- HUASCARAN – This one was rushed off his feet through the opening half mile and had little left for the drive. Looks like he likes turf and if rated better early, has a chance to upset a similar field soon.
- TRUE TO DIXIE – Finished a respectable second behind Kowboy Karma after breaking slowly from the tough rail post in debut. Deserves another chance with different post and no monster in the next group.
Delaware Park clocker has this to say about several noteworthy morning moves
- TRICKIZAR – Two-year-old maiden ran second in lone local start after a pair of promising efforts with tough company in Kentucky and looks ready to roll off a short break with a sharp three furlong blow out in :36 flat on July 22nd
- FINAL PROSPECT – Turned in a sharp five furlong drill in :59 1/5 from the gate on 7/20 as he gets closer to his first start since January.
- SHE’S GOT PRIDE – Two-year-old Larry Jones trainee looks like she’s about ready to make her first career start after working a smart five furlongs in 1:01 flat from the gate on 07/19.
Scott Spieth has one of the sharpest minds in the jock’s room and the veteran uses his shrewd sense of pace and ability to communicate with the different personality traits of his mounts to full advantage. Spieth won three races last week from 15 starts and also finished second on three other mounts to move into second in the overall standings with 14 wins at the current stand. Daniel Centeno, who puts a lot of miles in riding not only at Delaware Park but also Laurel Park, Monmouth Park, and Penn National, also had three winners last week and is tied for fourth in the overall standings.
Victor Carrasco, who currently leads the jockey standings at Laurel, is another who also rides at the other Mid-Atlantic region tracks and he had a good week at Delaware Park, winning aboard two of the five horses he rode while Kate Davis also won with two of the three mounts she accepted locally. Antonio Gallardo came down from Monmouth Park and also had a pair of winners.
JOCKEYS AND TRAINERS[table id=176 /]
Jerenesto Torres, whose stable is mainly comprised of Arabians, won with three of his seven starters last week while Mike Gorham, Jamie Ness, Larry Jones, Hugh McMahon, and Hernan Parra each captured a pair of races.
Gorham’s pair of tallies moved him into third in the overall standings, two behind leader Anthony Pecoraro and one back of Michael Catalano Jr. The aforementioned Torres has eight wins thus far at the current stand while Jones, Ness, and Lynn Ashby each have seven victories.
TRACK BIAS REPORT
- 07/17 – The main track surface tightened up and got considerably quicker last week starting on Monday and is usually the case when that happens, speed held on well and those either on or near the lead were most successful.
- 07/19 – The surface was still quick for Wednesday’s card but played a bit fairer with horses racing in the three path and farther out seeming to travel the best.
- 07/20 – The main track remained quick with speed types and close up chasers and stalkers faring the best. Blu Moon Ace’s six furlongs in 1:08.94 was a graphic illustration of the track’s glibness.
- 07/22 – Saturday’s card capped off speed week with a bang as almost every main track winner either led throughout or was close up through most of their races.
NOTE TO BIAS AND TENDENCY PLAYERS – Watch main track conditions and tendencies closely this week. The track, which used to feature a pronounced speed bias in past seasons, had played reasonably fair thus far this meeting up until last week’s races when it tightened up considerably and speed dominated. There have obviously been some changes made to the maintenance program so bettors should carefully watch main track races, note how well speed holds up, and note the portion of the track where horses seem to be more comfortable and travel the best over. If last week’s speed bias continues then bettors will need to adjust their handicapping strategies accordingly. When analyzing races on Monday, July 24th. players should also consider that it rained heavily on Sunday in the area that included Delaware Park so the track was drying out and thus, was subject to change throughout the afternoon’s card.