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 Wednesday. 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 51-2Favorite #1 Malibu Mischief (8-5) enters this contest in good form, with three straight wins while climbing the class ladder, and last out she inched away from rivals to win a starter limited to horses that had never won an allowance. It’s fair to wonder if the Beyer fig is inflated — it’s well above her prior best, and she was the favorite — but it was a good effort against decent company. Additionally, she projects as the main speed in here, which makes her, at the least, the one they’ll have to catch… #2 She Answered (4-1) broke her maiden nicely two back, winning a speed duel and then going clear; the runner-up returned to graduate. She was just an even fourth last time against similar at MTH and today makes her third start after a five-month layoff…
Race 75-7-6-1Top choice #5 He’s Smokin Now (4-1) won at this second allowance level last out and gets the rare opportunity to double-dip in the condition because his prior wins were against maiden, claiming, or state-bred company; the latter was in a minor stake at Canterbury. His third two back might be better than it looks; that was a solid group he caught… #7 Belle Tapisserie (3-1) makes her first start in the Simoff barn, last out was engaged in a speed duel through wicked fractions, stayed on until the furlong grounds; the horse she dueled with came back to win. This one makes her second start off a long layoff here… Also making her second start off a vacation is #6 Tip for Tap (6-1), who returned running to win a first allowance; she’s never been worse than third, with two wins, in her four-race career… #1 Take Your Place (2-1) was a decent third last out (behind our top choice), makes her second start off the bench…
Race 86-2-4-8Top choice #6 Gaming Jack (8-1) ran credibly in his first two tries at the special weight level — the winner of his first, Sky’s Not Falling, has been stakes-placed three times, while Waist Deep, who won his second, took the Sapling at MTH — and now takes the drop into claiming company; trainer Robb is 9-for-25 on the maiden special-to-maiden claiming drop… Also taking a similarly appropriate drop is #2 Alwaysinahurry (3-1), who likewise has caught a couple of tough ones, has been gelded since his last… Big debut speed fig for #4 The King Cheek (9-2), who didn’t miss winning by much; steps up in class today, which is always tricky for maidens… First-time Lasix today for #8 Indian Lake (4-1) who’s been second and third versus similar…