Delaware Park Racing Notebook, Vol. 10
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
- SONORA – Overcame being stopped twice to finally get clear and run down favorite to upset at 13-to-1 in first start for sharp trainer John Rigattieri. Don’t be surprised to see this one handle a jump in class next out.
- LAST PROMISE KEPT – Very quietly ran a good race last start, closing along the inside to be part of a four horse blanket finish in a highly competitive turf tilt. More importantly she galloped out very strong and shouldn’t be taken lightly next start.
- SUPREME AURA – This Candy Ride colt from the classy Mike Stidham barn ran his competition into defeat through the first half mile then drew off smartly to win at first asking in a very nice time of 1:09.4., Keep an eye on this one.
- CAUSEUR – Pressed Supreme Aura to the stretch of his debut but had horses on both sides on him through the early going and didn’t look comfortable in that position. Graham Motion trainee is by Giant’s Causeway and we like him even more if he shows up on turf.
- EL CORAZON – First-time starter who broke from tough rail post made a nice inside move into the stretch and continued on well to deep stretch before tiring. This 100k yearling purchase should move forward from that effort.
Delaware Park clocker has this to say about several noteworthy morning moves
- AMERICANA – Larry Jones trainee who’s been knocking at the door with three second place finishes in his last three starts, drilled a quick five furlongs in 1:00.4 on August 11 and galloped out well.
- ZIP YOUR LIP – Unraced baby also worked 1:00.4 on August 11 as he continued to train smartly for his debut for Jeff Trosclair.
- QAUNICO – Worked a solid half mile in :48 flat on August 14 as he is continues progressing nicely toward his debut for trainer Jim Cronk.
JOCKEYS AND TRAINERS
A couple of veterans who can still get it done had hot hands this past week as Scott Spieth and Ricardo Chiappe each won five races from August 7 through the 12.
Spieth’s good week solidified his spot as second leading rider back of Carol Cedeno, while Chiappe’s good fortune moved him to third in the standings.
Eight other riders each won two races each. Noteworthy in that group was apprentice Jose Bracho, whose mounts average mutual payoff was a healthy $19.20. Others with two wins were Ashley Castrenze, Jomar Torres, Alex Cintron, Brian Pedroza, Daniel Centeno, Feargal Lynch, and Victor Carrasco.
Keith Nations, Larry Jones, and Tim Ritchey each showed why they’re considered top horsemen in the training fraternity last week, each sending out three winners. Nations isn’t running a ton of horses, but when he does send one out, pay attention: the stable is winning at a 20 percent rate.
Ritchey, who has a reputation for not running his horses until he is absolutely convinced they’re in the right spot, was a perfect three-for-three, while Jones won with three of his five starters, topped by emerging star Kowboy Karma’s second career win.
Jorge Diaz, who continues to have a good meet, saddled two winners while Darian Rodriguez also won 2 races from 3 starters.
In the overall standings Arabian powerhouse trainer Jerenesto Torrez leads with 14 victories, one more than Anthony Pecoraro. Jones and Mike Gorham are tied for third with 11 wins, one more than surging Jamie Ness and Michael Catalano Jr.
TRACK BIAS REPORT
- 08/07 – Heavy rains overnight left the track very slopping with abundant standing water, no ratings over this surface.
- 08/09 – Surface tended to favor speed horses and close up chasers and stalkers and the inside of the strip, which had been dull and a bit tiring through most of the meet, seems tighter with horses travelling along the inside seeming to get over that portion of the strip better than in past weeks. This suggests track maintenance may have “bladed” the strip with their road grader during the dark day, turning over soil with the grader blade in an attempt to pull some of the cushion material out from the inner part of the strip.
- 08/10 – Track played reasonably fair and again, the inner portion of the racing surface continued to be tighter and more glib.
- 08/12 – Speed horses and rivals racing close up seemed to have the most success. The track was quick again and the surface appeared to be fair across the strip from the rail out to the middle of the track.