Delaware Park: Mo Shopping favored in Light Hearted Stakes
Photo by HoofprintsInc.com.
by Frank Vespe
A year ago, New York-based trainer Todd Pletcher started just three horses at Delaware Park. All three finished in the money with one winning. On June 6, when the track presents its first stake of 2018, Pletcher is slated to saddle the morning line favorite in the form of Mo Shopping.
The $50,000 Light Hearted Stakes, a 1 mile 70 yard test for three-year-old fillies on the main track, will take place as race nine on a 10-race program. Post time for the race is 5:15 p.m.
Mo Shopping (2-1), a daughter of Uncle Mo, is a homebred, for Repole Stable. She’s won two of five career starts. Mo Shopping ran third in the one-turn, one-mile Beyond the Wire Stakes at Laurel Park in March and then a well-beaten fifth in the nine-furlong Grade 2 Gazelle at Aqueduct last month. She’ll have veteran Mario Pino in the irons.
Parx-based Trainer John Servis is hoping for a blue Wednesday. He’ll send out a pair of runners, both of which have that color in their names.
Blue Strike (9-2) enters off impressive back-to-back scores. Servis shipped the daughter of Smart Strike to Laurel Park in early April, where she cruised to a four-length win over maiden special weight rivals going a flat mile. On May 1, he kept her home at Parx Racing, where she won with similar ease in a first level allowance. Feargal Lynch — off to a fast start with two wins and a second from three starts at the meet — will ride.
Servis will also send out Blue Union Rags (8-1), a $335,000 daughter of Union Rags who had a two-race win streak snapped last out when she crossed the wire fifth in the $125,000 Weber City Miss at Laurel Park before being elevated, via disqualification, to fourth. Though beaten eighth lengths that day, she was part of a four-horse scramble for second, finishing just a length from the place spot. Jorge Vargas, Jr. is up.
A couple of other prominent local trainers will have horses in the Light Hearted starting gate.
Tom Proctor will send out the improving Dothraki Sea (6-1). Another Union Rags filly, Dothraki Sea, owned by SF Racing, broke her maiden two back sprinting at Tampa Bay Downs. Last out, at Parx, she ran second — though beaten by four — to Blue Strike. Ashley Castrenze has the mount.
Gerald Bennett, three-time meet leader at Tampa Bay Downs, will add Prospective Lady (8-1) to the mix. The daughter of Prospective had to drop into claiming company to break her maiden, in early March, but last out took the Ivanavinalot Stakes for Florida-breds at Tampa, posting a front-running score going a mile 40 yards. Daniel Centeno, with three wins from six starts at Delaware, will ride.
Vente to Go (12-1) and Sweet Candy Dance (10-1) round out the Light Hearted field. The Larry Jones trainee Hold Her Tight is cross-entered in a race at Prairie Meadows and reportedly is headed to that spot.