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

Delaware Park has a nine-race card on tap this Saturday and is off the turf today. Post time for the opener is 1:15 p.m., and we’ve got Delaware Park picks.

Also, check out Joe’s picks for every Delaware Park race on the Delaware Park simulcast feed!

Check out our other handicapping here!

Race 59-8-4-6This 65K optional claiming event was scheduled for 1 1/16 on the turf but has been switched to the main track. As a result, it looks like #9 Shane’s Jewel (3-2) has the advantage. He should get an easy lead and may well go wire to wire. He loves the slop which could be a big advantage today… #8 Aspect (9-5) is coming off a six-month layoff but ran some strong races at the Delaware meet last year. If he can match those efforts he will be very competitive today… #4 Eons (8-5) has been running with graded stakes company down in Florida and did not disgrace himself — he won the G3 Kent locally two years ago — but those were on the turf… #6 Militiaman (12-1) is a versatile type who can put in a good performance on any racing surface.
Race 75-1A-3-7In this MSW taken off the turf #5 Grandeur (9-2) looks like he’s prepped for a good run. This big gangly gelding made up some ground in his debut — which was also on the main track — once he got going. He looks like he will enjoy a little more distance which he will be getting today... #1A Vikram (8-1) is a main-track only entrant, and you have to respect those when races are taken off the turf. Jonathan Thomas has a good record with first-time starters and this horse is sired by Blame, which indicates he may be precocious and ready to run first time out… #3 Common Bond (3-1) has run a couple of decent turf races in Tampa and looks like he fits well with this group… #7 Petawawa (8-1) is another first-time starter and has Joe Bravo aboard. This colt has been working well and is worth a look.
Race 87-8-4-3In this 6F 50K optional claiming race for three-year-old fillies who have never won two, we’ll go with #7 Trip to Freedom (6-1). This filly seems to be hitting her stride as she shows ascending speed figures in her last three races down in Maryland. Last out she won on the lead in a race that had a closer’s bias. She may get more pressure up front this time, but she should be able to hold on for the win again… For the place spot we will go with #8 Love in Her Eyes (7-2). If the early speed horses tire this is the type of horse that will pick up the pieces. A very consistent runner who usually finds her way into the exotics… #4 Sky Proposal (4-1) is also worth a look. She has faltered in her last two, but she has the back class to be competitive with this group if she runs her best… #3 Kewpie Doll (8-1) could make a run if there is a very hot pace. She beat Trip to Freedom last year in race with a contested pace.