Teresa Z stamps DelCap ticket with Obeah score
HOW IT HAPPENED
(Teresa Z (#11) outfought You Know Too to win the Obeah Stakes at Delaware Park. Photo by The Racing Biz.)
Four-year-old Teresa Z lodged the second stakes win of her career in the $100,000 Obeah Stakes Saturday afternoon at Delaware Park. Now it’s on to hunt for bigger game — specifically, the $750,000, Grade 2 Delaware Handicap July 14.
Under jockey Daniel Centeno, riding the pricey daughter of Smart Strike for the first time since March 2017, Teresa Z was never far off the pace while wide on both turns. She bid up to take a short lead into the lane and gradually wore down You Know Too, who was ultra-game in running second in her first start of 2018.
Trace of Grace, with Forest Boyce in the irons, zipped to the early lead in the 1 1/8-mile test, with You Know Too and Alex Cintron in close pursuit. Those two were a half-length apart through a moderate half-mile of 48.13 seconds, and it was even closer after three-quarters in 1:12.22.
But Trace of Grace was tiring at that point — she would wind up fifth in the eight-horse field — while Teresa Z was just revving up her late run. You Know Too fought on gamely to the wire but could not contain Teresa Z. The final margin was 2 3/4 lengths, and You Know Too held off longshot Sneaky Betty by a half-length to maintain the place spot.
The favorite, multiple graded winner Tequilita, wasn’t far off in the early going but did not really kick on when the serious running began. She finished fourth, beaten by five lengths.
It was the fourth win in 14 starts for Teresa Z, and the winner’s share pushed her earnings past the $200,000 mark. Teresa Z is owned by St Elias Stable, the racing operation of Vincent Viola and his wife Teresa. Teresa Z was a $635,000 purchase from Keeneland’s September Yearling sale. She is out of the A. P. Indy mare With Flying Colors.
Four horses, including logical contender Fuhriously Kissed (4-1), were scratched.
“We were pointing towards, believe it or not, the Delaware Handicap. That’s the goal line for us.” — Trainer Anthony Margotta
(On why they had her run in the Grade 1 Madison for her first start this year, a race in which she finished last at 106-1) “We needed to get a race in her. There were no other races for her. We knew we were up against it but we needed to get a race into her.” — Margotta
(On whether they’ll come back for the DelCap) “Barring no problems, the way she ran today. I’m very pleased with her effort. She handles the track good, and we were waiting for more distance.” — Margotta
FACTS AND FIGURES
- Winner paid: $9.60 – $5.20 – $4.00
- Winning time: 1:49.33
- Margins: 2 3/4 lengths from Teresa Z to You Know Too, another half-length back to Sneaky Betty, and 1 3/4 lengths more back to Tequilita
- Winner’s record: 14-4-2-3, earnings of $201,320
- Trainer: Anthony Margotta
- Owner: St Elias Stable
- Breeder: Besilu Stables LLC
- Pedigree: Smart Strike – With Flying Colors, by A. P. Indy
- Jockey: Daniel Centeno
HOW WE ‘CAPPED IT
- 2. Fuhriously Kissed (4-1): Hasn’t won yet in ’18, but back-to-back graded stakes placings — including a rallying third in the G1 Apple Blossom — say she fits here; never worse than third at the trip
- #5 Tequilita (7-2): Multiple graded winner is also G1-placed; owns class edge over these; third of ’18 and could fire here; best efforts to date at 7f
- 11. Teresa Z (6-1): G3 winner was a rallying third in the Serena’s Song; Centeno in the irons for a filly who could improve in third start of year; trainer Margotta has big figs off similar layoffs
- 4. Mannerly (10-1): Walsh trainee takes another swing at stakes company; improved outcome here would not surprise
IN YOUR STABLE MAIL
You Know Too was up front early and stayed on gamely to the bitter end to hold the place. She was second in the early going in a race in which the horses who were first and third after a half-mile ended up fifth and seventh, and she can certainly step forward when she makes her second start of 2018…
Longshot Sneaky Betty circled the far turn and loomed a major threat before emptying out late to be third. It was a game effort in a race that came up tougher than expected.