Delaware Park 2019 horses to watch: May 8
by Frank Vespe
Delaware Park’s Wednesday card has a nice mix, including the first maiden special weight of the season and a couple of allowance tests. Some horses to watch:
Race 1 – Maiden special weight
- Maiden three-year-olds and up will go six furlongs on the main track.
- Clearly, the success of trainer Claudio Gonzalez — 25 percent this year — is catching the attention of folks. The conditioner used to have a barn mostly full of claiming runners and modestly bred sorts, but today he’ll run out #6 Smart Time (4-1). It’ll be the first start for this colt, who is by Bernardini and out of the Storm Cat mare Smara. He’s a half to four winners, including the stakes winner Samara. Gonzalez is clicking at a 16 percent rate with first-time starters and will leg up Victor Carrasco here. He’ll have to overcome a couple of runners here who have credible tries at this level, as well as a couple of other first-timers.
- Selections: 6-1-4-3
Race 8 – Allowance/optional claiming
Fillies and mares three years old and up will go six furlongs on the main track in a third-level allowance with an optional claiming tag of $50,000.
- What a salty field is set to gather for this contest, headed by the Rodney Jenkins trainee #3 Shimmering Aspen (9-5). The five-year-old Malibu Moon mare’s last three, including two this year, aren’t much to look at, as she was well beaten in a trio of stakes, including the G3 Barbara Fritchie. But she certainly has better form to run back to and, notably, owns a win at the trip in her only prior visit to Delaware. Victor Carrasco is up.
- Delaware lover #5 Angel At War (5-2) makes her first start of the ’19 meeting and owns five wins and two runner-up finishes in eight starts at the track. Not unlike Shimmering Aspen, she enters off a subpar effort when she backed out after pressing the pace in the Primonetta Stakes a couple weeks back at Laurel Park. But making her second start after a six-month break and back in the friendly confines, she owns the right to improve. Sheldon Russell is up.
- Selections: 1-3-5-2