Delaware Park 2018 horses to watch: August 18
by Frank Vespe
Delaware Park’s Saturday, August 18 card features six races for Thoroughbreds, and two for Arabians. The nightcap Arabian race is the Grade 1 Delaware Park Arabian Classic Handicap. Post time is 1:15 p.m. for the card. Some horses to watch:
Race 5 – Claiming
- Three-year-olds and up that have never won four races or have not won a race in three months will go a mile on the main track at the $16,000 claiming level.
- Well, here’s an exercise in reading conditions. #1 Worth His Salt (part of entry, 3-1) would appear not to fit the conditions at first glance: the four-year-old Roman Ruler gelding has won four times in his career, including his last two, most recently beating $12,500 claimers August 6. How does he get in? Turns out that races in which the horse was entered for $12,500 — as he was in his last two starts — don’t count towards eligibility. So he slides in with two of his wins coming against lesser. That gets to the next question: will he start? Trainer Jamie Ness, leading the colony with 18 wins, has two entered here, with jockey Angel Suarez named on both. Chances are, one of ’em scratches. The other runner, King Koa, recently defeated $16,000 claimers in an off-the-turf contest at Laurel Park but it seems likely, since Worth His Salt is stabled at DEL and King Koa is not, that it’ll be Worth His Salt facing the starter. He’s won his last two on the front end and projects to be in the pace battle once again here.
- Selections: 4-1-3-6
Race 6 – Maiden claiming
- Fillies and mares three and up will got 7 1/2 furlongs on the turf at the $12,500 claiming level.
- Occasionally, a horse gives you that “need to win this one” vibe, and in this race, #4 Pretty River (5-2) fits that bill. The sophomore San Pablo filly has spent most of her brief career in New York, facing much better runners without notable success. Shifted into Wayne Potts’s Delaware barn, she ran evenly in a five-furlong dash before giving her best performance yet last out when third — beaten just a half-length — at the $16,000 level with a bit of trouble along the way. Her credentials match up just fine with today’s rivals — it’s a pretty middling group — and it kinda feels like this is a prime chance for her to graduate. Angel Serpa is up.
- Selections: 4-7-5-8
Arabian handicapping is provided by our friends at Arabian Finish Line.
The first of two Arabian races today, this one is a maiden claiming event going 6 furlongs. Two horses from the barn of leading trainer Jerenesto Torrez, RB Super Duty and Prince William AA, have been inching towards their first win. It would not be surprising if one of those two gets the victory here. Big Buck MKP is a first time starter for breeder/trainer Mark Powell and owner Preston Powell. By champion So Big Is Better, he is bred similarly to several winners we’ve seen at Delaware Park. He could easily be in the mix.
This year’s edition of the Delaware Park Arabian Classic H. (Gr.1) has one of the strongest fields ever assembled for this race. Last year’s winner, Easter Man, is back. Quick Sand AA, undefeated this year and a multiple stakes-winner, looks to solidify his stature as the best Arabian in the United States. Carol Cedeno was initially named on both horses and chose Easter Man, and Keibar Coa picked up the mount on Quick Sand AA. Three-time Darley Horse of the Year Paddys Day looks to prove he’s still on top and received high weight of 128 pounds. These three will get the most play at the windows and rightfully so. However, grade 1 winner Quick And Rich is back as is grade 1 winner Thess Is Awesome, who will looking to go wire to wire and gets in at a light 115 lbs. Finally, especially if it is an off-track, Mystical MHF and Madjikman (who are both by leading
international sire Madjani) seem to want every part of the 1 1/4 miles. If any of the favorites falter, either one of them could come from behind to pick up the pieces. It should be an outstanding race.