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 Monday. 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 31, 2, 4, 7Interesting turf sprint on tap, assuming they remain on turf. It’s a $25,000 starter allowance for horses that have never won one-other-than or which have never won three lifetime. The only runner here who has won a one-other-than (who therefore qualifies as a never-won-three) is #7 Talented Son (6-1). The Ed Coletti trainee finally showed signs of getting back to his two-year-old form last time out when he was a pretty good third behind 1-5 Cams Carter; the top pair from that contest both returned to be in the money in separate allowance contests at DEL. This one doesn’t have much turf in his immediate family, but if he is rounding back into form, and if he takes to the green at all, he’ll contend here… Don’t be fooled by the tepid Beyer #1 Nashvegas (3-1) received in his only turf sprint try: he was maybe an inch slow leaving the gate, but then got the squeeze from two others that forced him all the way to the back before he mounted a good rally; the inside post doesn’t do him any favors, but he has the talent to factor in this… The long comment says that #2 Chess Master (4-1) “inhaled” the leader in his last start, but that came over yielding ground. Also, he was scratched twice — once by the vet — in August. Can he repeat that effort? #4 Tonka Flower (2-1) has the look of a major player in his first try in the hard-hitting Ness barn, but he is skipping a condition…
Race 41, 4, 9This 2yo maiden event runs directly through #9 Spirited Beauty (3-1). The Camejo trainee was a very good second on debut, leading early and sticking with it late to finish just a length behind the impressive winner, Street Lute. The rest of the field was well spread out behind them. A repeat of that, or any improvement, puts her in the winner’s circle. Interestingly enough, Camejo takes off the blinks for this runner’s second start, and she’s wheeling back on just a week’s rest. Still – she’s your winner if she can repeat that effort… #1 Laobanonaprayer (8-1) has some good works, including one at five furlongs and one at six. Her family on her dam side isn’t much to look at : her dam was winless in seven career tries, and her sibs are a combined 2-for-51. But her sire, Laoban, the 2016 Jim Dandy winner whose oldest offspring are 2yos, is showing real promise as a sire. From 14 to run, he already has one stakes winner and another runner who is graded stakes-placed… Kinda curious about #4 Guns Blazing (5-1). The Trombetta trainee is out of the multiple graded winner House of Fortune, and most of her sibs have been pretty good, especially early in their careers. Interesting to see him name Labarre to ride — it’s her first mount for the trainer…
WAGERING…We assume you won’t get anything close to 3-1 on Spirited Beauty, but if you do, you should probably grab it and call it a day. By contrast, we think there are a lot more ways to go in the third than the 2-1 favorite would imply.