Delaware Park horses to watch: September 28
by Frank Vespe
Delaware Park’s nine-race Thursday card includes one, the finale, for Arabians. Scheduled post time is 1:15 p.m. Some horses to watch:
- Race five is a $16,000 claiming races for fillies and mares that have never won two races, and they’re going one mile on the turf. The top selections in the morning line — #10 Mo Promise (7-2) and #9 Dona Elba (9-2) — are both on the also-eligible list. We’ll look inside them and take a shot with a horse who rarely wins from a barn that rarely wins (Miranda Downing: four percent this year) — not generally the most promising combination. But #7 Don’tpassjudgement (8-1) is worth a second glance. The Pioneerof the Nile mare rallied smartly to be second two races back, in her last try on the turf, and followed that up with another second, this time on the dirt. Here, back on her preferred surface in her third start off a layoff, she can move forward. Also of note: she actually finished first against similar four back at TAM but was disqualified. She should be a major player here at, if the morning line holds, a square price. Scott Spieth will ride.
- The seventh race is another claimer for $16,000 horses that have never won two, this time for three-year-olds and up also going a mile on the grass. The morning line favorite is #5 Hyka (9-2) from the Larry Jones barn; Jones is winning at a 30 percent clip at Delaware, and this runner picks up Alex Cintron — 24 percent at Delaware — in the irons. We’ll turn our focus to #2 Bold Response (6-1). Trainer Darien Rodriguez claimed this runner at TAM back in May but just gets him back to action today. Bold Response has won one of five starts in his career, last out running fourth as the favorite. He shows a solid work tab for this one, Rodriguez is 31 percent first off the claim, and Emmanuel Esquivel, one of the leading riders at Parx Racing, comes in to ride.
- The featured eighth race is a $25,000 claimer for horses that haven’t won twice in the last three months or have never won five going 1 mile 70 yards on the main track. The deserving morning line favorite is #1 Monkey’s Medal (9-5); the Mike Gorham trainee has earned nearly $300,000 in his career and two back just missed against similar, a race whose winner, Abiding Star, has now won three straight while moving up the class ladder. Looking outside, an intriguing prospect here is #6 Social Stranger (7-2). Trainer Keith Nations claimed him from his last, against $12,500 claimers, a race in which he was second a neck. Two interesting facts here: first, Nations is four-for-eight jumping horses two or more classes, suggesting he knows when he has one that can handle the jump; and second, the horse, a four-year-old who’s made 10 starts already this year, shows two works since that August 30 claim, both bullets. Orlando Bocachica will ride, and we’ll want a better price than 7-2.
Arabian handicapping is provided by our friends at Arabian Finish Line.
A nice field of Arabians will be racing six furlongs in an allowance/optional claiming race. The 9-year-old, nearly white Sergeant Pepper MHF got a good win and looks to repeat that performance with Carol Cedeno aboard. Madjikman has finished in the top three in three of four starts this year and will be a contender. The entry from trainer Simon Hobson, RB Hocus Pocus and RB Sand Castle, could actually finish 1-2 with a little luck. They both have come to Hobson’s barn only recently. They are both well-bred horses with good potential.