Delaware Park Racing Notebook, Vol. 18
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
- STELLAR MOON – Half-sister to $354,000 earner who won nine races overcame a slow start and rallied past leader late to win 10/7 to break her maiden in her second try. This Tapit runner from the Stidham barn could be even better going longer and bears watching.
- TRICKIZAR – Two-year-old filly who showed a lot of promise early in her career came back to life in her last, showing much improved speed to finish second to Stellar Moon and shouldn’t be long before leaving winless ranks.
- SECRET ESCAPE – Made a solid middle move while hung out wide before coming up short in her last against Stellar Moon and Trickizar and bears watching out of what looks to be a key race.
- BRUSHED BY FIRE – Made up ground through a blistering third quarter of :23 1/5 before closing late in a turf route. Sitting on a win.
Delaware Park clocker has this to say about several noteworthy morning moves
- NICK CAN FIX – Keith Nations runner who has been sidelined since February gave notice he’s ready to return to action with a blistering :46 1/5 half mile drill on October 2, the fastest half-mile work of the current meeting.
- SOUTHERNPERFECTION – Posted a solid five furlong move of 1:00 2/5 on October 4, and Arboritanza runner looks primed to go after her second win from her last three starts.
- OLDFASHIONED CLUB – Two-year-old colt who has been sidelined since smoking a field by more then eight lengths in June signaled he’s about ready to come off the shelf with a solid six furlong work of 1:13 4/5 from the gate in company on October 7.
JOCKEYS AND TRAINERS
With the meeting moving into its last two weeks, the battle for leading rider has turned into — well, a battle.
Scott Spieth had another good week with three wins from 21 mounts and was in a deadlock for the top spot in the rider’s standings. Spieth and defending champion Carol Cedeno each had 49 wins through October 7. Cedeno went 0fer during the week, winless in 16 mounts. Those two are a dozen wins clear of Jomar Torres in third.
Apprentice Jose Bracho topped all riders with four wins and as many seconds from 20 starters and continues to be on a hot streak. Among bug riders, Bracho has 10 more wins than Ashley Castrenze, 28 to 18. They are the only two apprentices to have as many as 10 wins at this meeting.
Ricardo Chiappe, Keiber Coa, Daniel Centeno, Katie Davis, Jose Betancourt, Ashley Castrenze and Nik Juarez each had a pair of winners last week. Juarez won twice from just two starts.
On the trainer’s side of the slate three veteran trainers each had good weeks. Kathleen O’Connell, Ned Allard and Tom Proctor each sent out a pair of winners. Allard’s two wins came from just three starters.
None of those three appear on the top 10 overall list, however, a competition which also remains heated. Five trainers remain within four wins of the lead, headed by Jerenesto Torrez, who mostly trains Arabians and has 21 wins from 79 starts at the meet. He has a one-win lead over Anthony Pecoraro (who’s 20-for-63), a two-win edge over Larry Jones (19-for-63), and a four-win bulge over the 17 wins of Jamie Ness and Scott Lake.
Pecoraro is tied with Arnaud Delacour and Kelly Rubley for the lead among turf trainers. Each has six wins on the lawn, putting them just ahead of Proctor, Mike Stidham, and Graham Motion with five each.
TRACK BIAS REPORT
- 10/02 – Track played reasonably fair with both speed rivals and late runners having success. The biggest change in the surface was the improvement in the inside portion of the strip. After being dull and tiring through most of the meeting, the inside of the racing surface has tightened up. Speed horses along the rail are hanging in longer than in the past and several late closers used the inside to make up ground through the middle portion of several races.
- 10/04 – The track again played reasonably fair, and again the inside portion of the strip actually seemed to be the preferred place to be.
- 10/05 – Speed runners and horses racing close up were the most successful.
- 10/07 – The surface was a touch dull for Saturday’s card, with stalkers and closers having the most success. Here again, the inside portion of the strip remained tight and the riders seem to have picked up on this change as a number of jockeys have been placing their mounts along the rail or inside while setting the pace or advancing from back in the pack.