Delaware Park horses to watch: August 17
by Frank Vespe
There are 10 races on the docket for Delaware Park’s Thursday card. Post time is 1:15 p.m. Some horses to watch:
- The seventh is a $12,500 claiming sprint for fillies and mares on the turf, and it’s attracted a diverse crew of old-timers. In fact, the nine horses expected to face the starter have a combined age of 59 — more than six years old! — and only one is less than five. It’s a wide open group, and So Royal (5-2) gets the nod as the morning line favorite; she’s a consistent sort with nine straight speed figs in the 70s but not exactly a win machine, with just three victories in 32 starts and while you might use her in gimmicks, it’s hard to get excited about short odds on a horse who rarely wins and was just beaten by lesser. No, if we’re going to play a horse who never wins, we want value on them — for example, on Passing Pfast (15-1), who also sports just three wins from 30 starts. She enters off a dismal 10th place finish, but there are reasons to think a better effort might be in the offing: she shortens up to the distance at which she recorded her last win, three back, and draws the inside post, from which she’s done her best running of late. That last win — at 50-1 — was a terrific effort in which she had to steady a couple of times before finding a seam to come flying late and win a three-horse photo. The third place finisher that day, Justgimmeakiss, has won two straight since. Regular pilot Diego Gomez will ride for trainer Art Stauffer, Jr.
- In the eighth, a first level allowance sprint on the main track, Gold Beach (8-5), the little sis of 2013 Kentucky Derby fourth-place finisher Normandy Invasion, will seek her second win from three starts. She’s been bet like crazy in each of her first two — 3-5 in both — and won nicely last out. The second-place finisher from that race, Survive, ran third against maiden rivals yesterday. Brian Pedroza will ride for Larry Jones. Gold Beach, by Tapit, will have to contend with Taurine (4-1), twice second against similar, and Staff Sgt Reckless (7-2), who thrashed Taurine two back, ran second against second allowance foes last out, and drops in here for the tag. One potential upsetter: Krista’s Persona (6-1), who ran a big one last out, winning the pace battle before tiring late to third behind the talented up-and-comer Smiling Causeway. Edwin Gonzalez will ride for Jamie Ness.