Delaware Park Handicappers’ Notebook 2019 Vol. 8

by | Jul 3, 2019 | Breaking, DE Racing, Delaware, Racing

Delaware Handicap

In the paddock on Delaware Handicap day. Photo by Allison Janezic.

Correspondent Doug McCoy returns with his weekly Delaware Park Handicappers’ Notebook, featuring horses to watch, bet-backs, and more.

Horses and races to watch

  • SILVER DUKE (June 27, Race 2) – Fought being dragged back off a dawdling pace early and understandably came up empty when asked into the stretch. Could surprise next out with better trip.
  • REFUNDED (June 29, Race 4) – Cheap but honest sort lost best chance after rider fell back in the irons at the break of recent sprint. Still made a willing middle move before tiring late and deserves another chance.
  • FUNTASIA (June 29, Race 6) – Horse with some erratic performances in past performances that included bolting was understandably handled cautiously early in local debut and first race in almost 2 months. But once given her head, this filly made up ground quickly late to turn in a sneaky good performance. Watch for this one to light up the board going two turns.
  • HAPPINESS (July 1, Race 1) – Dropping sharply in class for first start since January, was held in reserve too long, then was swung 7-8 wide trying to make a late run and finished closer to outside fence than inside fence. Wasn’t going to beat runaway winner but could certainly have been second with better handling. Look for this one going 7 1/2 furlongs on the lawn with possible rider change for new trainer Scott Lake.
  • KING GATTO (July 1, Race 3) – Made a strong middle move to mid-stretch before hanging and being outkicked late in second start off 18-month layoff. Proven turf runner likes 7 ½ furlongs over the local lawn and if stretched out, deserves a long look.

Jock/trainer Watch: Performers of the week

  • Jamie Ness has won the training title at Delaware Park the last two seasons, and this past week, his barn came to life and his horses have started running like the Ness runners of old. Ness sent out eight horses last week and four found the winner’s circle while two others ran third. He has now moved to the lead in the overall standings with 14 wins, and 26 of his 55 starters this meeting have run one-two, a 47% percent mark. He is now one win ahead of Gerald Bennett and two in front of Anthony Pecoraro.
  • Jockey Alex Cintron had a solid week at home with four wins and a pair of seconds from 11 mounts, but it was on the road where he did his best work. At Woodbine on the Queen’s Plate Saturday card, Cintron won the $361,000 Grade 1 Highlander Stakes with Wet Your Whistle for trainer Michael Trombetta and owner David Palmer.

Handicapper’s tool box


With two big weekends of racing coming up, bettors are going to looking at a number of stakes and handicaps at Delaware Park. When doing so handicappers should first look at the fields of these races like the trainers who have horses entered in these races do. Thoroughbred racing is first and foremost a business, and for those who invest in bloodstock and racing stock, earning “black type” (finishing one-two-three in listed and graded races) can be critical to the value of distaff runners. Even though a horse may not win a graded race, finishing second or third to a top-ranked star can make these horses and their offspring a good bit more valuable from a commercial standpoint.

So when you’re looking at, say the Delaware Oaks or the DelCap, remember that while some of the trainers in these races would like nothing better than to win, they would often be very pleased for their owners if the horse finishes on the board, thus earning that valuable black type.

So make your exotic plans accordingly. If a superstar is in the field like an Elate, look to double or triple up underneath with your exactas, trifectas, and superfectas then make small bets with your longshot on top in case he or she runs the race of their life.

Look at these races from a practical standpoint: that’s what the trainers do.




About The Author

Doug McCoy

Doug McCoy has been a racing writer and chartcaller since 1972. He retired in late 2013 after 23 years (and 150 Grade 1 charts called) with Equibase and continues to write for the The Racing Biz and The Blood-Horse.

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