Delaware Park 2019 horses to watch: June 17
by Frank Vespe
Delaware Park has an eight-race card on tap for Monday, with the finale for Arabians. Some horses to watch:
Race 6 – Allowance/optional claiming
- Three-year-olds and up will go 1 1/16 miles on the turf in a second-level allowance with an optional claiming tag of $25,000.
- If the race comes off the turf, the horse to watch is the main-track-only entrant, #2 Aspect (10-1). The Tim Ritchey trainee crushed a first allowance group by five lengths last time out in just his second start of the year for his second win in just six lifetime starts.
- He hasn’t run in over a year, but when last seen #3 Verboten (2-1) was keeping the right sort of company and had earned two wins in four starts, plus a runner-up effort in the Woodstock Stakes at Woodbine. The son of Elusive Quality has been off since that May 2018 tilt, however, and has been transferred into Graham Motion’s barn. Motion has solid numbers with horses new to his barn, and with runners coming off long layoffs (16% strike rate with the former, 20% with the latter), and will leg up Jorge Vargas, one of his regular riders.
- In his first start of ’19, #6 Archaggelos (8-5) just missed by a neck after leading late in a Laurel allowance that went to the suddenly good Pizmo Time, who’s won three straight. This one has the right bloodlines — he’s by Temple City and is a half-brother to dual Classic winner Big Brown — and has enjoyed some success on the track, most notably a win in the G3 Grey S. at Woodbine in his second career start. He’s lost nine straight since, though, all but the most recent in stakes company. Victor Carrasco will ride for Michael Dickinson.
- Selections: 6-4-3-7
Race 7 – Allowance/optional claiming
- Three-year-olds and up will go a mile on the main track in a third-level allowance with an optional claiming tag of $50,000.
- In his brief career, #1 Super Dude (7-2) has raced five times on the main track with a sporty record of 3-1-1, including a win in his last dirt try, two back, against allowance foes at Laurel. His follow-up, on the grass, was a bit of a mess, but getting back to his preferred surface should help here. He also may catch an idea pace scenario, with the favorite #2 Flowers for Lisa (3-2) and Delaware-loving veteran #5 Twocubanbrothersu (5-2) likely to be entangled up front early, perhaps with some boost from #4 Honor the Fleet (10-1). All of that might leave Super Dude and Sheldon Russell in a congenial spot just off the leaders and waiting to pounce.
- Selections: 1-5-2-3
Thanks to Stephanie Ruff and Arabian Finish Line for giving us insights to the Arabian racing at Delaware Park.
The allowance optional claiming race has a field of six going six furlongs. RB Rich Lyke Me has the hot connections of Rosebrook Farm, trainer Jerenesto Torrez and jockey Carol Cedeno. It is definitely a winning combination. Smoke En Fire is a consistent runner making her first start this year and could be in the mix. Pams Masquerade, a 7-year-old mare, has placed three times in five starts this year. She is typically a tough runner who could be there at the finish.