In Focus: Wagering Delaware Handicap Day

by Jul 13, 2018Breaking, DE Racing, Delaware, Handicapping, Top Stories

Rose Brier

2017 Delaware Handicap winner Songbird. Photo by The Racing Biz.

Our In Focus Guide offers the most in-depth analysis and commentary to the four stakes Saturday at Delaware Park!

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ALL STAKES PICK 3

  • Race 7 -4, 7, 9, 11
  • Race 8 – 2, 5, 6
  • Race 9 – 1, 5, 6
  • TOTAL COST – $18 on a 0.50 ticket

RACE 5 – CARL HANFORD MEMORIAL STAKES

RACE PARTICULARS: Race 5 (3:15pm EDT), $50,000 guaranteed purse for 3yo and up, 1 1/16 miles

THE FIELD

1. Monongahela (12-1): 4yo was thrashed in two recent stake tries, both by Afleet Willy, and hasn’t raced in almost five months; work tab’s just ok, though trainer Rubley has had reasonable success coming off of similar layoffs
2. Name Changer (5-2): One of three from 6/2 tilt over the strip, and he powered to victory in that event; two-for-two in 2018 and already owns a stake win in his career; Edwin Rivera in the irons again for a runner who can be formidable in this spot
3. Twocubanbrothersu (7-2): Harlington gelding owns seven wins over the strip but had no answers last out when well beaten by Name Changer; forward running style complicated by presence of others with speed in here
4. Even Thunder (6-1): Stayed best of three who were vying in the early going in June 2 race here but was dusted by Name Changer; 4yo will need a big one here and likely will have company early
5. Warrioroftheroses (15-1): 9yo owns five wins locally and five at the trip; ability to press the pace (as opposed to gunning for the lead) a newfound addition to his arsenal; Cedeno, who rode him to last-out victory, jumps ship but Hall of Famer Prado takes the sting out of that; still, looks to be a heavy lift in here
6. Hoffenheim (9-5): Improving Jacobson trainee outslugged the solid Afleet Willy to win over the strip two weeks back in last, wheels back here; kept right sort of company, with two-back test including multiple graded winner Timeline and Belmont winner Tapwrit; yet another who figures to be involved in the early running
7. Prince of Hempt (8-1): Makes just his second start of ’18 after season bow on June 30, when he met defeat for first time; was wide that day and steadied late while tiring; flashed plenty of talent while winning his first four starts but will need a step forward here

THE PICKS

  1. #2 Name Changer (5-2)Formful sort likely to sit winning trip
  2. #6 Hoffenheim (9-5): Steady improvement and gets red-hot leading rider Cedeno for second local effort
  3. #7 Prince of Hempt (8-1): Not going to sweat middling season bow; trainer Kreiser likely not shipping without thinking he’s got a legit shot
  4. #4 Even Thunder (6-1): Solid rider McCarthy aboard the likely pace-setter
Queen Caroline

Chublicious. Photo by Laurie Asseo.

Race 7 — HOCKESSIN STAKES

RACE PARTICULARS: Race 7 (4:15pm EDT), $75,000 guaranteed purse for three-year-olds and up, 6 furlongs

THE FIELD (post position order)

1. Blue Y Gold (5-1): 8yo is as good now as he’s ever been, enters with two straight wins and gets Johnny V in the irons; show horse from two-back returned to win at DEL; closing sort will need a top effort
2. Colonel Sharp (10-1): Closed for third last out on synthetic at PID in minor stake, but winner could manage only a show effort in follow up vs. allowance foes; will need very best; trainer McMahon and jockey Lynch thrive together
3. The Man (8-1): Has won seven of eight since coming East to kick off ’17 season; none of four from last-out win to run back has won; two prior stakes tries, including one win, were both vs. PA-breds and the water’s deeper here
4. Recruiting Ready (6-1): Speedster thrives doing one thing – going to the front; blinks come off in effort to settle him a bit; last out he was cooked while setting torrid fractions in G2 company; one of three rivals from two-back win to run back scored next out; like to see Jose Ortiz back aboard and a couple of fast works in the interim
5. Laki (8-1): Lightly-raced 5yo had pretty much always shown speed up to last two but closed nicely from the rear for the show while between horses last out; runner-up from that event returned fourth in G2 company; little bit hard to know what to expect here today, but Prado stays aboard in a good sign
6. Midtowncharlybrown (12-1): Owns four wins at the trip but will need a career-best effort here
7. Stallwalkin’ Dude (7-2): 8yo has earned over a million bucks in six-furlong races in his stellar career; useful season debut last out when third after a wide journey should set him up to take a step forward here; multiple G3 winner took the Fall Highweight two back and will need a pace to materialize to aid late kick; meet leader Cedeno to ride
8. It’s the Journey (12-1): Winless in six since smashing score in the Challedon last September at LRL despite several good tries; another who’ll try to close, he was outkicked in last by Laki; notable that trainer Trombetta’s go-to rider Pimentel passes on this contest, though pickup of McCarthy a plus
9. Chublicious (9-2): Perfect trip to get the money last out in the Mr. Prospector; runner-up returned to be fourth in G2 event; Jersey-bred usually runs his race, uncorking a solid run in the lane; pilot Gallardo has return engagement
10. Rockinn On Bye (15-1): Earned first win in almost three years last out when dropped in for the tag; return to stakes company seems likely to relegate him to more accustomed results
11. Always Sunshine (15-1): Last year’s runner-up in this event has plenty of excuses from last, when fourth in G2 True North, as he had to stop behind rival in distress; expected return to better form would put him in the mix here; Pennington has won on him before

THE PICKS

  1. #4 Recruiting Ready (6-1): Looks to be major speed player in here and could be tough to reel in
  2. #11 Always Sunshine (15-1): Toss that last when impeded by injured foe and this G3 winner fits nicely here
  3. #9 Chublicious (9-2): Repeat of last would put veteran NJ-bred in the picture; owns G3 win and might get good setup here
  4. #7 Stallwalkin’ Dude (7-2): Eight-year-old millionaire made useful return to the races when third in last; can step forward
Lovable Lady

Untamed Domain. Photo by Jesse Caris/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders Cup.

Race 8 — GRADE 3 KENT STAKES

RACE PARTICULARS: Race 8 (4:45pm EDT), $200,000 purse for three-year-olds, 1 1/8 miles (turf)

1. Carrick (9-2): Ambitious spot for a horse still eligible for N1X company but you can’t fault his two efforts to date; Velazquez in the irons a plus, but serious class test looms
2. Hot Springs (6-1): Two-for-two in 2018 and Asmussen not likely to ship without good reason; couple of his beaten rivals in maiden score graduated next out
3. Duc de Calas (8-1): First-time Lasix for this French import, joining the Clement barn and also adding blinkers; trainer and rider McCarthy have lost 14 straight, but Clement 32 percent at DEL last five years
4. Gunnison (10-1): Half-bro to millionaire Divisidero has won two straight and three of four, most recently the $60k Tale of the Cat at MTH in well spread field that has produced one next-out winner from three to run back; runner-up was fourth in Queen’s Plate at WO; Toledo remain aboard for Rubley
5. Untamed Domain (5-2): Runner-up in ’18 BC Juvenile Turf hasn’t found the range yet in ’18 while keeping good company; top pair from last ran one-two again in $1.2 million BEL Derby; Jose Ortiz an asset here for trainer Motion
6. Golden Brown (15-1): Turf debut was absolutely stellar; sure, it was NJ-bred company, but the winner, Irish Strait, is a real racehorse, a G3 winner of over $330k, and this one was getting to him late; McBurney trainee a threat to outrun his odds
7. Archaggelos (10-1): Dickinson trainee never worse that third on the green stuff; place horse from last took $100k stk at BEL in follow-up; connections have handled this one like a good horse throughout, trying him three times in G3 company
8. Blame the Rider (7-2): Trainer O’Neill hasn’t sent a horse to DEL in at least last five years, so this one’s appearance would be something of a surprise — and perhaps a sign that this runner is ready to roll; he Is cross-entered, though, and could end up at IND; four of six to run back from stake win two back ran one-two in follow-ups; rider Gutierrez comes along for the race
9. Way Early (8-1): First time Lasix last out, and this Tizway gelding responded with a solid late run to earn the place after lagging early; gets blinks on today to get his mind on business; improved effort a distinct possibility

THE PICKS 

  1. #6 Golden Brown (15-1): Love that effort in turf bow vs. older G3 winner
  2. #5 Untamed Domain (5-2): Has run credibly while keeping plus company; has to be happy not to see Catholic Boy, Analyze It in here
  3. #2 Hot Springs (6-1): If trainer Asmussen’s coming, he must mean business
  4. #9 Way Early (8-1): Solid effort in last, looks to be more engaged early today
Lovable Lady

Teresa Z. Photo by The Racing Biz.

Race 9– GRADE 2 DELAWARE HANDICAP

RACE PARTICULARS: Race 9 (5:15 pm EDT), Grade 2, $750,000 guaranteed purse for fillies and mares three-years-old and up

THE FIELD

1. Teresa Z (10-1): G3 winner was well beaten locally last year by favored #6 Elate but is a better horse now than she was then; clearly best in winning the Obeah last out in third off a layoff after a wide journey; distance should work for her, but she’ll need to fire big in here
2. Sneaky Betty (20-1): Was third after making a bold move, flattening out in the Obeah and probably will have longer odds in here; she’d be a major surprise
3. Mopotism (9-2): G2 winner was crushed by the favorite in here at this distance last summer in the G1 Alabama; makes third start off layoff and brings jock with her
4. Proper Discretion (20-1): Suspicion here is that Looch-owned Anthony Quartarolo trainee isn’t in it to win it – she’s here to guarantee a zippy pace and give his better runner, #9 Fuhriously Kissed, the kind of pace she needs
5. Unbridled Mo (5-2): Huge effort two back to win the G1 Apple Blossom impressively over Unique Bella; distance a bit of a question here as she backed our readily at only try beyond 1 1/16 miles; no answers for Abel Tasman in last, but no shame in that; shows two fast works in the interim
6. Elate (2-1): Two-time G1 winner set to make season debut here; was a five-length winner at the distance in the G1 Alabama; it’s plenty to ask of her to debut at 10 furlongs in G2 company; does own a win over the strip in last year’s Light Hearted; ran decently when fourth in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff; no question a deserving favorite, but if you want to take a shot against her, this’d be a good spot to do it
7. Farrell (9-2): Front-runner is expected to scratch
8. Nikki My Darling (20-1): Everything we said about #4 in here holds true for this one, as well
9. Fuhriously Kissed (15-1): Deep closer — the presumed beneficiary of the expected early exertions of other Looch runners in here — ran into third in the G1 Apple Blossom and G3 Allaire DuPont over a wet surface she relished (5-2-1-2 on off tracks); didn’t catch much pace in last and was up the track; will be rolling late but looks a cut below the top runners here

THE PICKS

  1. #5 Unbridled Mo (5-2): G1 winner ran down Unique Bella two back in the Apple Blossom, benefits from recency vs. favorite here returning from eight-month layoff
  2. #1 Teresa Z (10-1): Nice tuneup over the strip and should be ready to deliver top effort
  3. #6 Elate (2-1): Best credentials in here and likely winner on best — but lengthy break and long distance make this a chance to take a shot against
  4. #3 Mopotism (9-2): G2 winner makes third start off two-month break