In Focus: Delaware Park stakes selections

by | Sep 29, 2018 | Breaking, DE Racing, Delaware, Handicapping

Photo by Allison Janezic

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  1. #3 Unbridled Juan (8-1): Corrales trainee has been in the money nine of 10 at the trip and has performed well since switch to his barn; narrowly bested a solid field in last; in an event with plenty of early types, his patient style an asset, and will have solid journeyman Cintron in the irons
  2. #7 Dr. Blarney (9-5): Other than turf, there’s not much this Grusmark trainee can’t do: short, long, makes no difference; has three wins in four starts at the track, five in six at the trip, and brings in regular pilot Piermarini; may just be too good for these, but presence of several other speedy sorts complicates matters
  3. #1 Wild Scat Blue (6-1): Huge effort two back when winning an N1X by a dozen, and reunited here with pilot from that day in Centeno



  1. #10 Apolodorodedamasco (10-1): First off the claim for trainer Mike Pino, who’ll leg up brother Mario; should benefit from presence of several speed types
  2. #5 Discreetly Placed (5-2): No world-beater, but a solid sort who keeps running decent races; trainer Navarro 52 percent (are you kidding?!?!) at the meet
  3. #3 Hey Willie (5-1): Second off a three-month break after the claim for trainer Haynes, who sports a good record with similar breaks; bug boy Rosado having productive Delaware sojourn


  1. #9 Tybalt (5-1): Closing sort hasn’t done much wrong in brief career; not sure how strong the off-the-turf Tyro was, but runner-up effort in debut came behind next-out Tremont winner Our Braintrust; regular pilot Gomez in to ride for hot barn
  2. #3 Come Sundown (10-1)One of two D. Capuano entries here, though other, Thatwouldbegrand, expected to scratch after running on Thursday; shows four works, including a bullet 5f move, since debut victory; that win was a solid heat, with seven to run back posting a record of 7:2-2-2
  3. #11 Sapphire Shilling (9-2): Closed very fast but just too late in the Strike Your Colors last out; has been the runner-up in both tries on main track; gets solid journeyman Centeno in the irons



Note: This race has been taken off the turf.

  1. #17 I’m Pretty Strong (20-1): Sagamore Farm homebred enters on two-race win streak, both going two turns over the strip; lone main-track defeat came with disastrous trip, and she was one of three to win next-out; look for her to settle and make a run; sophomore facing elders here but both wins to date also came vs. elders
  2. #3 Well Acquainted (20-1): Showed plenty of early foot when runner-up last out in off-the-turf stake at MTH; since return from two-plus year layoff, has only sprinted, but breeding says added ground should be a plus – two sibs were graded winners going two turns
  3. #1 Party Boat (5-1): Runner-up in off-the-turf stake at MTH and owns a 4:1-2-0 record on the main track, so figures to stay in and can get a piece here; figures to close


  1. #10 Start the Show (7-2): Catalano trainee won nicely at first asking and no shame in follow-up effort in the White Clay Creek: first two runners among the best 2yo fillies in the region, and runner-up returned to win an allowance at LRL by 14 in fast time
  2. #2 Clever Sarah (8-1): Trainer Margotta two-for-three at Delaware this meeting; runner has five works since fifth-place finish in the slop at MTH and will get blinkers on and Lasix added for third career start
  3. #9 Rolling Bobby (8-1): Second time with Lasix for this Pecoraro trainee, who graduated last out; note bullet 5f move on 9/16



  1. #1 Hailey’s Flip (3-1): Defending champ is winless in five starts this year but has been chasing top area runners like Lake Ponchatrain and Crabcakes; demonstrated success at trip gives her the nod over favorite
  2. #7 Shimmering Aspen (2-1): Good effort in last, surging to win the Timonium Distaff at the two-turn distance of 6 1/2 furlongs; thinking this Malibu Moon filly prefers 7f to this 6f trip; probably wants a stalk-and-pounce trip, but might be speediest of all; Victor Carrasco comes in for this test
  3. #3 White Gold Chanel (4-1): 4yo has made just two career starts, but both have been solid; won at first asking by a half-dozen last November while ridden out; gotta think if trainer Moquett is making the ship from KY, he’s planning on competing for the prize



  1. #3 Winplaceorshowono (6-1): Won this even easily last year to cap productive season in which he earned $135k; has missed most of 2018 but made a useful return to action when second on 9/12; regular pilot Cintron retains the mount, and expected improvement could make him a repeat winner
  2. #6 Evil Monkey (5-2): Big effort in last when just missing in NJ-bred stake, staying on willingly after setting sharp early fractions; repeat of that might be good enough, but presence of other early types complicates matters
  3. Nico Bree N Teej (7-2): Enough speed to be part of the early mix, though winless in five tries at the distance; trainer Gonzalez 37 percent at the meet


The last race of Owner’s Day is the Delaware Park Arabian Juvenile Championship S. (Gr.3) for 3-year-olds going 1 mile and 70 yards. It is a small, but competitive field of youngsters. Four out of the six starters won their last time out, including the only filly in the field, A Real Diva, from the hot barn of Cre Run Enterprises and Lynn Ashby. Probable favorite Burn Em Joey, who has been running second to the standout 4-year-old So Big Boy, gets his chance to be in the spotlight and will have help from jockey Carol Cedeno. Big Ben AA and RB Super Duty are also coming off wins and could easily get a top three finish.