Delaware Park Racing Notebook, Vol. 12
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
- LEMONADE THURSDAY – Lemon Drop Kid first time starter trained by Arnaud Delacour turned in a very game effort in his career debut going a mile. The $250,000 yearling purchase led from the break and resisted gamely when challenged through a long drive before getting out-nodded at the wire. This one’s worth watching.
- QUICK WITTED – Ran a strange race in an optional allowance turf race last out, racing in striking distance early inside, dropping back in the turn then coming back on again through traffic to be beaten a head and a neck despite being in tight quarters late. Better trip makes this one tough against similar next out.
- DILUTEM – Ran up heels inside into turn of last, was shuffled back then had to swing wide while trying to close late. Deserves another chance with same.
- SHORT MEMORIES – Was shuffled back in early going of last then had to wait for racing room during crucial stages of stretch drive.
Delaware Park clocker has this to say about several noteworthy morning moves
- NOBLE HOUSE – Maiden who had showed a high turn of speed for a half after being fractious and ducking in at the start of last, worked a sharp five furlongs in 1:00.1 on August 25.
- TELLING YOU TWICE – David Fawkes maiden was hung wide early in debut before dropping to rail and tiring but has come back to work well twice since that race including a sharp five furlong drill in 1:01 on August 25th.
- LION PRIDE – Smoked through a quick three furlongs in :35.1 over a surface that was far from lightning fast on August 29. Maiden who finished second in the slop last out looks like he enjoys wet going.
JOCKEYS AND TRAINERS
The top riders in the overall standings showed why they’re among the leaders of the jockey colony last week. Carol Cedeno, who has led the standings most of the current meeting, won five races from 21 mounts, while Alex Cintron booted home four winners from 11 starters.
Scott Spieth, Daniel Centeno, Jomar Torres and Katie Davis each had three winners, with Davis’ mounts returning $17.00 average win price — just behind Torres’ winners, with an average win price of $19.70.
Cedeno holds a solid lead in the jockey’s standings with 39 wins, with Spieth second with 30 victories.
The picture looks a bit different on the grass, however. In turf races, Centeno is the clear leader, with 13 winners from 55 mounts (24 percent). He’s followed by Spieth (nine-for-42, 23 percent) and Feargal Lynch (seven-for-34, 21 percent). Other riders winning at a good clip on the lawn include Brian Pedroza (four wins, 21 percent strike rate), Nik Juarez (five, 33 percent), and Jevian Toledo (four, 19 percent).
Six different trainers each won two races last week, topped by the Stidham barn, which had two winners and two seconds from six starters. Larry Jones, Kelly Rubley, Mertkan Kantarmaci, Joseph Arboritanza and Leandro Moreno also won a pair of races, with Moreno’s average win payoff of $18.40 topping that list.
Anthony Pecoraro leads the Throughbred trainers race (Arabian trainer Jerenesto Torrez leads in wins wit 17) with 14, but the the battle for leading trainer is still a tight one. Larry Jones has 13 win, while Jamie Ness, Scott Lake, and Mike Gorham each have won 12 races.
TRACK BIAS REPORT
- 08/21 – Track favored stalker/closer types and horses making late moves along the outside had the most success.
- 08/23 – Surface was wet and sealed (maintenance devices squeezed the surface tight leaving a flattened top which is designed to allow optimum run-off of water from rain.) for the early races then as the track began to dry the normal harrowing process resumed between races, thus making it very difficult to ascertain bias and tendency changes.
- 08/24 – Surface was slightly stalker/closer-favoring but played pretty close to fair with speed runners and off the pace types both winning races.
- 08/26 – Track again played reasonably fair with the middle portion of the surface in the 3-6-path area producing most of the winners.