DELAWARE PARK SET FOR SEASON OPENER
A trio of maiden special weight races top Delaware Park’s opening day card. The track kicks off its 84th season of live racing May 26.
Among the expected meet highlights will be jockey Carol Cedeno’s bid for a record seventh riding title at the Stanton, DE oval and trainer Jamie Ness’s attempt to secure his seventh title, which would tie him with Scott Lake and Hall of Famer Bud Delp for the most in history.
- Charles Town picks and analysis: February 4, 2023We provide picks and analysis for this evening’s card at Charles Town Races.
Cedeno has mounts in nine of 10 races Wednesday, including aboard the favorite in three of them. Ness is scheduled to have three starters, two a coupled entry.
Wednesday’s opener is a 10-race card with three slated for the turf. First-race post time is 1:15 p.m., with the opener a lifetime $6,250 claiming event.
The first of the maiden specials is carded as the third race, a 7 ½-furlong contest on the turf that’s drawn eight runners in the main body and another five also-eligibles. Graham Motion will send out morning line 3-2 favorite Tonal Verse, who’s been second or third in five of six but has not raced since August when third at Saratoga. Cedeno has the call.
Motion also has the favorite in the other division of this race, which takes place as race seven. That’s Turning Point, who’s 8-5 on the morning line. Joe Bravo has the mount.
The presence of Bravo and others could be one of the more intriguing story lines of the season: whether riders, like Bravo, who typically ride at Monmouth Park follow through on their threatened boycott of the track over its recent adoption of a no-whip-use rule. If they do, Delaware figures to be one of the tracks where some may land.
Bravo is named on two runners Wednesday, while Ferrin Peterson, who was top apprentice at last year’s Monmouth meet, is named on one.
Trainer Michael Stidham will send out the morning line favorite in the other maiden special, a 5 ½-furlong contest on the dirt that’s race 10. Mania, his runner, is 8-5 on the morning line and, though a maiden, is already stakes-placed, having finished second in the Runhappy Debutante at Ellis Park. Brian Pedroza has the call.