Delaware Park Racing Notebook, Vol. 14
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
- MADAM MILAN – Half-sister to the great Barbaro was just beaten about a length in her debut after looking like a winner turning for home. Looked for all the world like a horse that was just a tad short and figures to be very tough next time out.
- GOING OUT – Lost a desperate photo after looking like a winner along the rail late in her debut. Her mother, Forever Together, was champion female turf horse in 2008 for Augustin Stable, and this one has all the earmarks of another good one for George Strawbridge.
- CODE NAME TAURUS – Broke awkwardly then ducked inside at the start of her last sprinting. Tried to overcome that bad break by advancing to the stretch before her early troubles caught up with her and she tired over a strip that was less than lightning fast. A decent break next out should give this one a chance to show what she can do, especially if she goes a little longer.
- ANGEL AT WAR – Wired a solid field in her first start for trainer Mike Gorham. Filly who was claimed is now three-for-three lifetime and her time of 1:10.81 over a strip that was really a bit dull on Thursday was very impressive.
Delaware Park clocker has this to say about several noteworthy morning moves
- GREELY IS BACK – Runner from veteran horseman Gary Thomas’ barn who recently shipped to Delaware Park from Ellis Park, worked a sharp half mile in :48 flat on September 11. Greely Is Back finished second against $16,000 level claiming sprinters at Ellis Park in his most recent outing.
- SONOMA CRUSH – Turned in a decent effort in a tough field coming off a layoff last out. This one from an overachieving stable came back to work a sharp half mile in :47 3/5, galloping out five eighths in 1:00.4 on September 9.
- OLD FASHION CLUB – Promising 2-year-old who smoked a field in :58.74 to leave the winless ranks back in June, showed he’s almost ready to go again after seven weeks off with a sharp half in :48 3/5 on September 8.
JOCKEYS AND TRAINERS
Jose Bracho, the promising apprentice who is being handled by Scott Silver who is also Trevor McCarthy’s agent, had a big week, winning five races from 15 mounts for a 33 percent strike rate. The wins gave Bracho 15 victories for the meeting as he battles Ashley Castrenze for top spot among the local apprentices, and he’s just off the top 10 at the meet by wins.
Scott Spieth, the wily veteran who is having one of his best meets in recent years, booted home four winners and continues to stay within striking distance of the meet’s current leader, Carol Cedeno, with 37 tallies to Ceneno’s 43 wins. Daniel Centeno won three of 14 on the week and remains in the overall third spot.
Angel Serpa, who is working to rebuild his business after a flat period, won two races from seven starters and joined Brian Pedroza, Cedeno, and Erasmo Martinez with a pair of wins.
On the trainer’s side of the ledger, John Rigattieri, veteran New England horseman who is one of the shrewdest trainers on the backside, only started three horses last week but won with each of them. The trio of wins gave Rigattieri 13 victories for the meeting from just 40 starts.
Tim Ritchey won two races from three starters and has won with 31 percent of his starters at the meet. Ritchey is nine-for-29 at the meeting. Jamie Ness, Keith Nations, Hernan Parra, Arnaud Delacour, and Jeff Trosclair also all won a pair of races.
Four of the top 10 trainers by wins at the meet have also offered genuine betting value, recording positive $2 ROIs. Rigattieri, Anthony Pecoraro, Mike Gorham and Joe Arboritanza all are returning more than $2 per win wager.
TRACK BIAS REPORT
- 09/04 – Surface was a bit dull and closer/stalkers seemed to fare well, as did runners closing from the middle of the strip to the outside.
- 09/06 – Track was wet and sealed for part of the day. Conditions changed as the afternoon progressed.
- 09/07 – Track was drying out and on the dull side. Stalkers and closers seemed to enjoy a slight advantage, and a number of runners were visibly fatigued in the late stages. Horses who raced over this strip should have gotten a good bit more stamina building from their races than normal.
- 09/09 – Track favored speed and close-up types coming off a dark day, and preferred portion of the strip was from 3-6 paths.