Delaware Park Racing Notebook, Vol. 15
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
- RIVINGTON – Graham Motion first-time starter looked very professional winning at first asking with a nice sweeping move to contention out of the turn. The time of the six furlong sprint wasn’t that fast, but considering the fact Motion doesn’t usually have his babies cranked full tilt for their debuts, it might be wise to follow this one’s progress.
- ABSENCEISPRESENCE – Scott Lake first timer had the misfortune of hooking a horse that was sitting on tilt but still finished a very solid second. Should be hard to handle next out.
- YES TO THE DRESS – This Moquett runner was primed and ready when she made her second start off a layoff and left the maiden ranks in eye-catching fashion. Don’t be surprised to see this one win right back.
- SALT AIR – First-time starter from the always dangerous Ritchey barn broke slow from the tough rail post in his debut. Don’t be surprised to see this well-bred colt run a much improved race next start.
- BISHOP’S POND – Jason Servis runner thrashed allowance foes going two turns last start and sped through a third quarter of :23.99 in the process, drawing off from there.
Delaware Park clocker has this to say about several noteworthy morning moves
- RUNNING MATE – Jones colt, who won in a blistering 1:09.74 last start, gave every indication he may have even more in the tank with a shocking half-mile move of :46 3/5 on Sept. 16th.
- NICK CAN FIX – Nations runner who won two straight before going to the sidelines in February, indicated he’s ready to return to action with a sharp five furlong move of 1:00 1/5 on 09/17.
- VIBRANT GINGER – Fell apart going two turns at Parx six weeks back but looks to be back on track with a solid half of :48 1/5 on Sept. 16.
JOCKEYS AND TRAINERS
apprentice Jose Bracho continues to have a hot hand, winning with four of his 18 mounts and also finishing second on three others. Bracho is leading all apprentices at Delaware and has wins 19 winners to rank ninth in the overall standings.
Angel Serpa, a talented reinsman whose career has had its share of ups and downs, seems to be refocused lately and he was one of four jockeys to win three races last week; his three wins came on 10 mounts. Overall leader Carol Cedeno also won three as did Alex Cintron and Jomar Torres, who has had a hot hand both here and at Laurel of late.
Among the top 10 at the meet by wins, Bracho is one of just three with a positive wagering return on investment, as a $2 win wager on each of his 101 mounts would have brought an average $2.16 return. Also in positive ROI territory are Scott Spieth ($2.14), who is second at the meet with 39 wins, and Jomar Torres ($2.06). Meet wins leader Carol Cedeno has the worst ROI among the top 10 jocks, returning just $1.06 for every $2 win wager.
It’s crowded at the top of the trainer standings; 10 trainers are within seven wins of the lead.
Anthony Pecoraro gave notice he is serious about trying to win the trainer’s title this meeting, sending out three winners from five starters last week to top the hot trainer’s list. Pecoraro’s good fortunes last week gave him 19 winners for the meeting, enough to lead all trainers in what has turned into a pitched battle for top conditioner.
Hernan Parra runners continue to race well and he won two races last week as did Robert Raymond, Juan Arriagada and Jason Servis, who won with both horses he shipped down from Monmouth to run.
Pecoraro’s horses have also been a good wager, returning $2.41 per $2 win wager. Two other trainers in the top 10 by wins have positive ROIs; they are John Rigattieri ($2.80) and Joe Arboritanza ($2.23). On the other side of the coin is Jamie Ness, whose 16 winners to date have returned just $0.96 per $2.00 win wager.
TRACK BIAS REPORT
- 09/11 – The strip was slightly speed-favoring but not radically so and runners racing down the middle of the strip looked the most comfortable.
- 09/13 – The surface, which was wet and listed as “good” for most of the day, was again slightly speed-favoring, especially for the sprint races. The strip appeared to play more evenly for the two turn races.
- 09/14 – Again the surface was favoring speed and close up types as it continued to hold some moisture in it.
- 09/16 – Saturday found the track to be a bit on the dull and tiring side and played reasonably fair with winners coming from both speed types as well as stalkers and closers.