Elate was much the best in the 2019 Delaware Handicap. Photo by Allison Janezic.

Delaware Park has an 8-race card on tap for this Thursday afternoon. Post time for the opener is 1:15 p.m., and we’ve got Delaware Park picks.

How’d we do last time at Delaware Park?

Race 33, 6, 7In this fairly evenly matched field, we’ll give the edge to #3 Branco Maria (8-1). The Mike Stidham trainee cost $385,000 at auction, and while it took him three tries to graduate, he’s run pretty well in all three and last time was wrapped up the last 100 yards or so en route to victory. He cuts the right profile of a first-level allowance winner… Nobody enters this contest in better form than #6 Cam’s Carter (3-1). The Gary Capuano trainee’s won three straight, all by at least three lengths. The runner-up in his last finished third on Wednesday against similar. The water’s deeper, but he looks capable… #7 Hide the Ransom (4-1) has been a different kind of horse since entering the Ness barn, posting two wins while finishing in the triple all six times. Not sure what he beat at PEN two back, but he did it nicely and can improve back on preferred surface…
Race 44, 6There’s a solid favorite — deservingly so — in this never-two claiming event, and that’s #4 Thunder Day (8-5). With one exception, his figures are better than these, and he’s lightly raced enough to have some upside. If there’s one concern here, it’s his running style: he’s a closing sort in a race that’s light on pace… What little pace there is might belong to #6 Vern H (15-1), who demonstrated two back that he knows how to get brave on the lead. He never got to the front last time, but you have to think this time, they’ll make sure he does…
Race 52, 3, 6We’re inclined to think that #2 Hydra (8-1) will outrun those odds in here. She dominated last out to earn his diploma, and that was the first time in a while she’d gotten in a short sprint on the main track — which she gets here again today. Rider Pedroza and trainer Robb have done good work together… Favored #3 Aspen Rose (2-1) gets back on the main track in search of the form that made her a first-out winner… #6 One Slick Chick (4-1) makes her first start since January here, and we like to see trainer Ness protect this one from being claimed. She’s showing three five-furlong and one six-furlong move in preparation, which may mean the trainer’s trying to fire his best shot today…
WAGERING…A 50-cent Pick 3 using all of these will set you back $9.00.