Delaware Park picks and horses to watch: July 4
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We’ve got Delaware Park picks and horses to watch for today’s Delaware Oaks day card. Happy Independence Day, and good luck!
Race 6 — Christiana Stakes
- Three-year-old fillies will go 1 1/16 miles on the turf in this $50,000 stake.
- Hunch Play Alert: #1 American Giant (5-1) is a stakes winner who on best can contend with these. And don’t you have to play a horse with that name today?
- Looking for a price? #5 Miss Imperfection (12-1) might offer value. Her best win came last out when she won an allowance on the synthetic in December, and her work tab doesn’t reveal much; she only has three official works since then. But it’s interesting to see trainer Kellyn Gorder make the trip from Keeneland to here for this event; it seems to suggest he might like her more than her numbers indicate. And she has a bit of a sneaky turf pedigree. Her granddam, the Green Dancer mare Sweettrickydancer, was a two-time stakes winner on the lawn, and while sire Majesticperfection is known more as a dirt horse, some of his best offspring have done their best work on turf.
Race 8 — Grade 3 Delaware Oaks
- Three-year-old fillies will go 1 1/16 miles on the dirt in this $300,000, Grade 3 stake that for the first time offers the top four points towards a spot in the Kentucky Oaks starting gate.
- In a race with a handful of horses with stakes wins – including the Grade 3 score by #1 Comical (5-2) — let’s take a gander at a horse with a lighter resume. #8 Queen Bridget (8-1) is still eligible for a first-level allowance and was thrashed last time out at that level. So why the love here? First, draw a line through that last one as it came on turf, and if speed figs are to be believed, she’s been faster on the main track. Then look at that race two back; look again. Sure, she was well-beaten, but look at her rivals: the winner, Gamine, returned to win the Grade 1 Acorn by almost 20 lengths and appears to have freakish, perhaps generational, talent. The runner-up, who nearly won that day, returned to run second in the Grade 2 Santa Anita Oaks. This miss was well behind those two — well, duh — but well clear of the rest in an 11-horse field at today’s distance. A repeat of that effort makes her a contender here. Tyler Baze, who is in for just two races, has the mount.
Race 9 — Grade 3 Kent Stakes
- Three-year-olds will go 1 1/8 miles on the dirt in this $125,000, Grade 3 stake.
- That last effort by the favorite in here, #6 Gufo (5-2), might be even better than it looks. He rallied from the rear of the field to win going away in the English Channel Stakes at Gulfstream Park May 2. What made the effort more impressive, though, are two things: first, that he was the only horse really closing from the back, while the horses up front all stayed on; and second, how quickly he closed. He covered the last 2 1/2 furlongs in a sharp 29.29 seconds. That all suggests he’s a closer who’s not pace-dependent, but for all that, he might get a solid enough pace to run into today.
- Race 6: 50-cent Pick 4: 5, 6, 9 w/ 3, 6, 9 w/1, 2, 3, 8 w/ 1, 6 ($36)
- Good luck!
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