Delaware Park horses to watch: June 14, 2018
by Frank Vespe
Delaware Park has a solid nine-race card on tap Thursday afternoon, with the finale for Arabians. Post time for the slate is 1:15 p.m. Some horses to watch:
Race 5 – Maiden Special Weight
- Three-year-olds and up will go 1 1/16 miles on the turf, which is rated firm.
- #4 Strike (3-1) is the favorite and has made just one start. The Graham Motion trainee ran a credible seventh on debut at Saratoga last August in a sprint and here makes his second start. The son of Smart Strike figures to appreciate the added ground here. He is a half-brother to a bevy of useful runners; several of his sibs are six-figure earners, including a stakes winner. Jorge Vargas, Jr. will ride, and Motion is four-for-five thus far at Delaware.
- Don’t sleep on the Arnaud Delacour trainee #2 Breakers Point (6-1). Delacour has great success with debut runners, and this $50,000 son of Point of Entry has been training well enough at Fair Hill. He is a half to a turf stakes winner and will have Feargal Lynch in the irons.
- Selections: 2-3-4
Race 7 – Allowance/optional claiming
- Three-year-olds and up will go 1 mile 70 yards on the turf in a first-level allowance with an optional claiming tag of $16,000.
- Well, here’s an interesting runner: #2 Abatement (10-1) makes his first North American start, arriving here in the barn of Elizabeth Voss. The son of Bated Breath won once in seven tries in Great Britain and ran several other good races. He hasn’t raced since last August and shows a trio of works since. You don’t often see horses like this one — horses toiling in the workaday ranks — get imported, and you have to wonder if this one might be ticketed to jumps racing. He’ll race without Lasix here — another oddity for a first-time import. Not sure you’ll want to be on him, but we’re intrigued to see what he offers here.
- Selections: 5-4-7-2
Race 8 – Allowance/optional claiming
- Fillies and mares three and up will go six furlongs in this third-level allowance with an optional claiming tag of $65,000.
- #2 Hailey’s Flip (9-5) closed 2017 by winning two of her last three, including the Tax-Free Shopping Distaff over the strip, and she ran second in the Miss Disco Stakes at Laurel. She’s three-for-four at Delaware and four-for-six at the trip — but note that trainer Gary Capuano is just seven percent off similar layoffs.
- The Gerald Bennett trainee #3 Pink Mama (7-2) enters this test on a four-race win streak, including having bested second-level allowance foes at Tampa by five lengths three back, and she loves to win — 15 times in 27 starts. She’ll be looking for a stalk-and-pounce trip under Alex Cintron.
- #5 Angel At War (6-1) began her career with six consecutive victories but now has lost four straight. The last two, however, were solid, both runner-up efforts in stakes company, most recently in the Dance to Bristol Stakes at Charles Town on April 21. The speedster has shown a newfound ability to track the speed in her last couple but might find herself on the lead in this one under Sheldon Russell, who’s riding for trainer Mike Gorham.
- It’s anybody’s guess why trainer Ernest Haynes put #6 Lake Ponchatrain (5-2) in the grassy G3 Gallorette, in which she was eased. She should appreciate returning to the main track, though she would likely prefer another furlong or so to set up her late kick. Johan Rosado will ride.
- Selections: 5-3-2
Arabian handicapping is provided by our friends at Arabian Finish Line.
Today’s Arabian race is a competitive claiming field of eight (seven betting interests, as Zells Bells and Miccah are coupled). Lazur Hess is coming off a win and will look at making it two in a row in this six-furlong event. RB Hocus Pocus should also figure in the top three. Chndakasexpress has been a consistent runner over the years finishing in the top three in 21 out of 43 starts. Marha T has been unplaced in three starts this year, but overall has 10 top three finishes from 14 starts. If she can find her previous form, with Keibar Coa aboard she could be tough.