Delaware Park 2019 horses to watch: May 4
by Frank Vespe
Happy Derby day – and happy opening day at Delaware Park! The 2019 Delaware Park meeting kicks off with an eight-race card, the finale for Arabians. A couple of horses to watch:
Race 3 – Claiming
- Three-year-olds that have never won two races will go 5 1/2 furlongs on the main track at the $25,000 claiming level.
- #1A Hide the Candy (part of entry, 8-5) will make his first start since September in this contest. That day, running at the Big T, he broke his maiden by four lengths and was claimed by trainer Claudio Gonzalez. Off since then — not, generally, a positive angle for Gonzalez — he returns here following a string of solid works, including a zippy half-mile over this strip April 25. And note that Gonzalez waives the claiming tag, which suggests he likes what he’s been seeing from this guy. Alex Cintron will ride.
- #4 Mr Chocolate Chip (6-1) has been continually handled like a good horse, even though the results to date aren’t much to look at — one win from 10 starts. But five of those starts have come in stakes company, a number than includes a rallying runner-up effort — at odds of over 100-1 — in the Grade 3 Bashford Manor. His last two starts have come on the grass, and that means today — for the first time since he broke his maiden — he’ll run on the main track against non-stakes foes. Tais Lyapustina is up.
- Selections: 1A-4-1-5
Race 7 – Starter allowance
- Three-year-olds and up who have started for a claiming price of $8,000 or less since September 1, 2017 will go 1 mile on the main track.
- #5 Double Whammy (7-2) did not run well last out on the turf, setting a solid early pace before fading from the scene. But he switches back to the main track, over which he owns 11 career wins and tackles a distance at which he’s 7-for-15 in his career. The Mary Eppler trainee will have perennial leading rider Carol Cedeno in the irons, and with Whammy’s tactical speed, Cedeno should be able to make a judgment about whether to storm to the early lead or sit off other speed types.
- Selections: 5-2-6-1