Delaware Park Racing Notebook, Vol. 17
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
- BOLD RESPONSE – Scored sharp front-running win in first race since May for very sharp stable. Wouldn’t be surprised to see this one win right back if placed right.
- DREAMING OUTLOUD – First-time starter ran creditable race not long after shipping cross-country to join the Gorham barn. Time of race wasn’t that fast but this one was hung outside most of the way and also looked like he would be more comfortable going longer.
- AFRICAN WILDCAT – Dusted field of $6250 non-winners of two lifetime types and won with something left. Move to non-three or raise in price shouldn’t faze this one.
- NOISY RIPPLES – Just hung late to a well-bred first-time starter and was a clear second. Was third straight runner-up effort for this honest type and should find a field she can handle soon.
Delaware Park clocker has this to say about several noteworthy morning moves
- FRECUENCIA – Turned in a sharp five-furlong drill of 1:01 1/5 on 9/30 and finished well, an above average move for a bottom level claimer. Watch for this one in her first race since July.
- MAKE IT RUN – Larry Jones filly turned in an impressive five-furlong move of :59 4/5 on 10/02 in what is probably this Brereton Jones runner’s final move before her debut. She is entered in a maiden race at Delaware on October 7.
- JENNYSREGALMAN – This gelding, who was claimed out of his last in a race where he lost his best chance by lunging at the break, worked a sharp half mile in :47 flat for his new connections, the best time for that distance on October 1.
JOCKEYS AND TRAINERS
Scott Spieth, the ageless wonder, just keeps on riding winners. The veteran, who has won over 4500 races during his career, and just turned 50 last fall, won five races last week and had six seconds and five thirds from 24 mounts. The big week moved him closer to leading jockey Carol Cedeno, and now just three wins separates the top two in the standings as the meet moves into its final month.
Jomar Torres, who is establishing himself as one of the top riders in the Mid-Atlantic region, also had five winners and is third in the overall standings, 12 back of Cedeno and nine behind Spieth.
From a wagering perspective, Spieth and Torres are the only two riders among the top 10 in wins with a return on investment above $2 (meaning, they’re the only two on whom a $2 win wager on all their mounts would thus far have been a money-making proposition). Both combine a high win percentage — Torres is at 22 percent, while Spieth is at 18 percent — with a generous average win payoff. Both are above $10. Spieth, second in wins overall, is also second in turf wins. He has 13 wins on the lawn, two behind Daniel Centeno in that regard.
Gary Capuano, veteran Maryland horseman, shipped north with good success last week winning with three of the seven horses he sent out. Two of those winners came in stakes on Owners’ Day.
Darian Rodriguez won with both of his starters, and Tim Ritchey and Mark Powell also saddled a pair of winners.
Among the top 10 trainers by wins, the only ones with a positive ROI to date are Anthony Pecoraro, John Rigattieri, and Joe Arboritanza. Pecoraro has had a terrific meet, winning at a 33 percent clip, while Arboritanza has a solid 18 percent strike rate made even better by his generous $12.70 average win payoff.
Pecoraro and Kelly Rubley are tied for the trainer lead in turf wins, each with six. Notably, Rubley’s six turf wins come from just seven winners overall.
TRACK BIAS REPORT
- 09/25 – Track was reasonably fair as both speed and closer types won on the program.
- 09/27 – Surface was still relatively fair but did seem to slightly favor stalkers and late runners.
- 09/28 – Strip was still playing fair and for the first time at the meet, the inside portion seemed to be a bit quicker and horses inside seemed to hang in longer than had been the case in the past.
- 09/30 – As it had been most of the week, the track continued to be fair to all types of runners and again more horses racing along the rail seem to travel well and show less fatigue than had been the case earlier in the meeting.