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 Saturday. 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 16-3-4How does a two-time stakes winner with over $330,000 in the bank end up in a first-level allowance? Because those two stakes wins came against NY-breds for #6 Runaway Lute (5-2), and since Delaware’s a-other-than condition excludes state-bred wins, you get a situation like this one. This runner has run Beyer figs as high as 104 and was the 7-5 favorite in the 2018 G3 Fall Highweight (though he finished fifth). Last time out, in a state-bred two-other-than at the Spa, he was a decent third and here, in his third off a more-than-one-year break, and first in the Atras barn, he should win for fun – though you won’t get 5-2 on him… Here’s a good reason to watch replays: the short comment on #3 Win Ya Win (9-5) says he “closed fast” when second last out versus similar, which is true, as far as it goes. What it doesn’t tell you — but you sure would like to know — is that he bobbled leaving the gate, which didn’t help, then was three wide on the turn and wider still in the lane before closing well. A repeat of that with a cleaner trip would be enough in a normal DEL allowance but might not get you to Runaway Lute if that one runs his race… The seven furlongs and two turns that #4 Bright Dawn (7-2) saw last time look to have been a bit too much, but he’s run competitive races going three quarters and against similar…
Race 21, 2, 7No question that the DQ of #2 Bad Sueno (2-1) last time out was just – he looked to be trying to put his rival over the fence – but in his defense, he recovered well from that and then inched away. Having just beaten similar, even if he was DQed, he’s a must-use in this spot… #1 Forefront (4-1) might be speed of the speed on the stretchout from sprints to this two-turn affair. He obviously didn’t see much in his graduation race, when he won for fun, but on the other hand, the field he saw last time was clearly tougher than this group. Let’s draw a line through that last and give him another crack… The Robb barn has been clicking everywhere, and if the pace heats up at all, one likely beneficiary is his last-out graduate #7 Runner Runner Indy (6-1)
Race 31, 3, 5, 6, 13You’ll want to spread out in multi-race wagers in this evenly-matched turf test.. Our top choice in here’s probably #3 Threeohtwocassie (9-2), who returned from 10 months off to best similar claimers at MTH going a mile. It got late on him at the end, but he should be fitter today and should be a major player here… Improved effort last time out by #5 Little Leo (15-1) on the dirt — about on par with his dirt form throughout 2019 — and if he runs back to his 2019 turf form, which includes a win against $16,000 claimers, he can be right there at a price… If he draws in, #13 No Knock Raid (8-1) is another who beat similar last out, in his case, at CNL…
WAGERING…The easy way to cut down the cost of a P3 ticket starting in the first is to single the 6-horse in that event. If you do that, and if all the rest of the horses post, you’re looking at a $15 ticket for a buck…