Gentle Ruler
Gentle Ruler proved best in the 2019 Grade 3 Robert G. Dick Memorial Stakes at Delaware Park. Photo by Allison Janezic.

Morsches Stable Gentle Ruler will be seeking a repeat victory in the $125,000 Grade III Robert G. Dick Memorial at Delaware Park this Saturday.  The mile and three-eighths turf affair for fillies and mares has attracted a field of ten.

Last year, Gentle Ruler posted 2 ¾-length in the Robert G. Dick Memorial. The Kentucky-bred followed with a fourth in the mile and a half Grade III Waya Stakes at Saratoga on August 4. She completed her season with a half-length score in the mile and five-sixteenths $500,000 Ramsey Farm Stakes at Kentucky Downs on September 12 and a 2 ½-length victory in the mile and a half Grade III Dowager Stakes at Keeneland on October 20.  The 5-year-old trained by Ian Wilkes, opened her 2020 campaign with a second in the mile and three-eighths Grade III Orchid Stakes at Gulfsteam Park on March 28.  In her most recent, she posted a victory by a head in a mile and three-eighths turf allowance at Churchill Downs on June 6.  She has a career record of seven wins, four seconds and five thirds from 20 starts with earnings of $787,269.

Trainer H. Graham Motion will be going for his ninth career victory in the Robert G. Dick Memorial when he sends Andrew Stone’s Mrs. Sippy postward.  The 5-year-old daughter of Blame will be making her first start of 2020.  Last year, the Kentucky-bred ended her campaign by finishing unplaced in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita.  She won the Grade II Glenn Falls at Saratoga and finished second in the Grade I Flower Bowl Invitational at Belmont.  She has a career record of three wins and three seconds from 12 starts with earnings of $322,706.

“We got delayed a little bit with her this year,” said trainer H. Graham Motion.  “In Florida, she bumped her eye in her stall on a hinge, so we had to back off with her for several weeks and then we had the whole COVID issue, so here we are.” 

Since Motion won the Delaware Handicap with Power Play in 1997, he has always made a point of making sure he has starters in the big Delaware Park races.  In addition to winning the Delaware Handicap and the Delaware Oaks two-times, the 56-year-old native of Cambridge, England, has won the Robert G. Dick Memorial eight of the 23 renewals.  He has won with Guilty Twelve (2017), Real Smart (2016), Caprice (2009), Rosinka (2007), Alternate (2003 and 2004), New Economy (2002) and  Bursting Forth in 1998.

“We tend to have nice fillies that fit this race, it is a local graded race and let’s face it, there are not a great deal of races like this around,” Motion said.  “It is an excellent opportunity for these fillies and mares, so it is a race we always have on the radar.”