Delaware Park Racing Notebook 2018: Vol. 17
Elate won the G2 Delaware Handicap. Photo by Allison Janezic.
by Doug McCoy
Every week during the Delaware Park racing season, The Racing Biz will publish The Delaware Park Racing Notebook. This page is designed to give helpful information to both horseplayers and horsemen about the racing picture at Delaware Park from the past week.
In the notebook, you’ll find:
- “Horses to watch” section highlighting both horses who have shown promise those who may have had poor “trips” in their last starts.
- “Clocker’s Corner” where track clockers will point out horses who have worked in noteworthy fashion during the past week.
- Track tendencies or biases during the week’s races. While it would be great if every race track was completely fair and even and an equal number of speed horses, stalkers, and closers won each day, observant handicappers know this just isn’t the case. Every track’s tendencies and biases (favored styles) change and vary, often from one racing program to the next due to any number of factors, most notably weather. While these changes are often minor, there are also days where a certain type of horse (like a speed horse) has a decided advantage, and there also days where one portion of the racing strip is a better spot to race over (like the inside) than another.
- Leading trainers and jocks and who’s been hot during the last week.
HORSES TO WATCH
- FEARTHEFALCON – Checked and steadied along for more than a half as the rider seemed to have trouble with handling, then swung wide in the second turn to make a good middle move through a :24.4 middle quarter. A puzzling ride, this one deserves a long look next out.
- HERE’S A JETPACK – Stumbled at the start and then made a strong middle move before tiring a bit in a race run in 1:10.11.
- HEY WILLIE – Hard knocking veteran with 12 career wins, this one just hung late in a 5 1/2-furlong sprint run in a very quick 1:03.77 in first start for the Haynes barn.
- BOURBONSTREETLADY – Lacked racing room and was forced to take up and alter course to middle of track in stretch of last in a very competitive sprint. Clear racing room would make this one dangerous next start.
- ASPECT – This Pennsylvania-bred 2-year finished third in a stake after winning impressively first time out, and he continues to train smartly. It appears he was working with older Stand Guard when he worked a solid five furlongs in 1:02.00 for trainer Tim Ritchey on 09/19.
- ASTUTE WARRIOR – Recent winner trained by John Rigattieri knocked out a half in :48.40, the best move of 11 for that distance on 09/21.
- DI – This Justin Phillip 2-year-old trained by Jesus Cruz drilled four furlongs in :47.20 from the gate on 09/22. She has finished third in all four of her starts to date.
- CELTIC TREASURE – This Jonathan Sheppard-trained gelding breezed a half in 48 flat on 9/22, second-fastest (behind Di) of 37 at the distance.
NEWS ‘N’ NOTES
Trainer Mike Gorham lost his top filly to racing on Monday when You Know Too fractured a right front sesamoid after taking a bad step in the first turn of a mile and 70 yard optional allowance route run over a sloppy Delaware Park surface.
“The rider (Alex Cintron) said he was sitting perfect, he had the horse he had to beat pinned down on the fence and she was travelling perfectly, then she just took a bad step just that quick,” a crestfallen Gorham reported Tuesday morning, “We took x-rays after we got her back to the barn which revealed the fractured sesamoid. Fortunately it looks as though we’re going to be able save her, and if all goes well she’ll make a good broodmare, but her racing days are over.
You Know Too, a $56,000 yearling purchase, won four races from 13 starts and earned $201,175. three of those wins came at Delaware Park, as did a pair of stakes placings. She was second in the White Clay Creek Stakes in her second start and also ran second in the Obeah Stakes, the traditional prep for the Delaware Handicap in her first start this season. She was training smartly for the DelCap, but an abcess discovered just days before the race forced her to miss a chance at what would have been her biggest prize.
JOCKEYS AND TRAINERS
The two most successful riders of the current stand continued their winning ways last week as both Angel Suarez and Carol Cedeno booted home five winners in the period from September 17 through September 22. The pair also showed why they’re so popular with gimmick players as Suarez finished one-two-three with 13 of his 22 mounts, while Centeno’s 17 starters were in the money in 10 of those races.
The hot rider of the week was apprentice Reylu Gutierrez who won with four of the eight mounts he rode. Gutierrez has finished one-two with 10 of the 18 horses he’s ridden at the meeting.
In the overall standings Cedeno still holds a healthy lead over her competitors with 83 winners, 23 more than Suarez’ 60 tallies. Keiber Coa ranks third with 33 wins with Jose Angel Garcia fourth with 25 winners.
Cedeno also leads in our jockey rankings of all riders who have made at least 30 starts at the meeting, holding a narrow edge over Daniel Centeno. Feargal Lynch is third, followed by Suarez and Jevian Toledo. Centeno leads the colony in win percentage (28.05%), while Lynch is tops in earnings per start. Toledo has the colony’s highest $2 return on wagering investment at $2.22.
|7||Marin Augusto A||224.57||21||18.42%||$3,344.12||$2.00|
|10||Pino Mario G||212.18||15||15.63%||$4,821.93||$1.68|
|13||Coa Keiber J||176.88||33||12.09%||$2,479.85||$1.37|
|15||Garcia Jose Angel||171.41||25||12.63%||$2,543.57||$1.40|
|16||Vargas Jr Jorge A||168.22||8||13.33%||$4,519.62||$1.16|
|20||Acosta J D||141.91||4||11.43%||$3,320.29||$1.18|
|24||Betancourt Jose R||121.77||9||7.32%||$1,344.33||$1.50|
|1||Gonzalez Claudio A||333.98||14||35.00%||$10,074||$2.40|
|5||Ashby Lynn A||254.41||14||29.17%||$7,165||$1.50|
|8||Gorham Michael E||224.60||15||19.48%||$4,193||$2.14|
|10||Bennett Gerald S||211.48||19||18.45%||$3,423||$1.74|
|12||Motion H Graham||208.39||10||20.00%||$6,407||$1.50|
|14||Carrasco Jr Victor||199.43||12||21.82%||$2,989||$1.86|
|15||Ritchey Timothy F||181.45||7||23.33%||$4,512||$1.28|
|16||Simoff Andrew L||175.68||11||22.92%||$3,170||$1.18|
|17||Wasiluk Jr Peter||175.21||7||15.91%||$2,460||$2.22|
|18||Lake Scott A||174.67||19||16.24%||$2,396||$1.20|
|19||McMahon Hugh I||170.82||6||16.67%||$3,326||$1.90|
|20||Rodriguez Jose S||153.79||5||14.71%||$2,263||$1.96|
|21||Proctor Thomas F||148.31||6||16.22%||$5,355||$0.80|
|22||Cronk Samuel F||136.68||5||11.90%||$2,330||$1.70|
|24||Neilson Wallace C||133.47||7||13.46%||$1,506||$1.55|
|27||Raymond Robert A||122.53||5||11.36%||$1,894||$1.48|
|30||Epley Jr Steve||96.59||3||8.33%||$2,525||$1.02|
|31||Stauffer Sr Arthur F||90.96||4||5.71%||$1,260||$1.32|
|32||Reardon M C||89.79||2||5.56%||$985||$1.54|
|34||Powell Mark K||75.01||5||7.69%||$1,193||$0.68|
Ageless Gerald Bennett had a big week, sending out three winners from six starters. Bennett, who is tied for fourth in the overall standings with 19 victories, continued his hot streak on Monday when he won with both of the horses he started on the program. Overall leader Jamie Ness, Keith Nations and Lynn Ashby each had a pair of wins.
Ashby has quietly put together a solid meeting and, overall, a good year. She is fifth in our trainer ratings of all trainers with at least 30 starts, which combine wins, win percentage, earnings per start, and $2 wagering return on investment into a single metric. With a barn including both Thoroughbreds and Arabians, she has won with 14 of 48 starters — a strong 29 percent — while generating over $7,100 in earnings per start. Her trainee Tricky Escape has earned nearly a half-million dollars this year and won three straight stakes, a streak that started in the Grade 3 Robert G. Dick Memorial.
Ness, the meet leader in wins, is fourth in our ratings, which are topped by Claudio Gonzalez, Arnaud Delacour, and Anthony Pecoraro.
TRACK BIAS REPORT
- 09/19 – The surface was decidedly dull and slow for the mid-week card with closers and late runners having the most success. Most moves came along the outside through the final turn and stretch.
- 09/20 – The track was tighter and kinder to speed for Thursday’s program, and the runners along the inside also held on better and longer when challenged.
- 09/22 – The surface played best for speed types and horses that raced close-up from the start.
- 09/24 – Rains in the region on Sunday and Monday morning left the track surface sloppy with an abundance of standing water and the preferred portions of the track changed from race to race.