DELAWARE PARK PICKS AND HORSES TO WATCH: JULY 3
Delaware Park has a nine-race card on tap July 1. 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!
In this $25,000 maiden claiming race at a mile for fillies and mares #7 World Party (4-1) was closing well in last but could not quite get up. That race strongly favored speed and the extra two furlongs today should fit her running style. She has a great shot today. #1 Nakibeya (2-1) is making her first try in the claiming ranks after racing in maiden special weight events. This is normally a large class drop and she has a good shot with this group. #4 Offlee Graysful (3-1) is also trying the claiming ranks for the first time and fits well with this group of horses.
In this $45,000 allowance race for non-winners of one other than maiden or claiming for fillies and mares at a mile and a sixteenth #3 Flight to Shanghai (8-5) has faced some tough competition recently. However, she failed to get past the winner in her last two and there were no excuses. She looks like a talented racehorse but we are not putting her on top today. #6 Suiko (2-1) came back from a ten-month layoff with an impressive 12 3/4-length victory for trainer Tim Ritchey. Now she is moving up to the allowance ranks, but this lightly raced five year old still has room to improve. He is our top pick in this one. #7 Hope Has a Name (6-1) is an improving three-year-old who lost by a neck in a very game effort in last. She looks to be in good form and deserves a win bet if she goes off at her morning line odds.
- Smiles all around as Sheldon Russell, Hello Beautiful win Alma NorthHell0 Beautiful’s facile Alma North win gave jockey Sheldon Russell his 1,500th win, netted her groom a big bonus, and led to smiles all around.
9-5-7-8/(dirt picks: 9-7-6-3)
In this $45,000 first-level allowance for fillies and mares at five furlongs on the turf #9 Woodbine Way (2-1) looked really sharp in her turf debut in Tampa in April. She is fast and has a good shot today if she repeats that race. #5 Bound for Broadway (12-1) has run some good races on the turf including one at Delaware Park last year. I would include her in my exactas. #7 Beautiful Grace (3-1) has been running against some tough horses on the dirt and won her only turf try. She is one of the horses with early speed in this group and should be considered. #8 Doc Girl (4-1) has been off since December but ran a nice turf race last year and has been working well. A possibility.
This second-level allowance/optional claimer at 6 furlongs is a very competitive race with a number of strong contenders #4 Easy Day (6-1) has won his last two races which included running an 86 speed figure in his last here at Delaware. It looks like he is starting to get comfortable and he looks very strong today, #1 Meru (2-1) has faced some very tough competition in several stakes tries. However, he has usually finished in the middle of the pack in those races and seldom had a closing bid. He should improve with this drop in class today. #5 Charge to Victory (9-2) has run several races with a figure of 90 or above. If he can run that figure back today he will be right in the mix with the top contenders. #2 Band On Tour (10-1) has been running very well lately and likes the Delaware Park surface. He has shown improvement in each of his last three races and no reason for that not to continue today.
RACE 5 – CHRISTIANA STAKES
6-4-9-1/(dirt picks: 9-2-7-5)
In the $75,000 Christiana Stakes for three-yea- old fillies at 1 1/16 miles on the turf #6 Caldee (3-1) delivered a very game effort in her last to win an $80,000 optional claiming event at Belmont. This horse is improving in her sophomore season and there is no reason for that not to continue. A definite top contender. #4 Mia Martina (2-1) looks very good in this spot. She ran a closing 4th in the Florida Oaks and 4th in the Hilltop Stakes in May. She is slightly below the top turf sprinters but better than most of the competitors she is facing today. Trainer Brittany Russell is bringing #9 Out of Sorts (5-1) up from Maryland. She won her last and also looks like an improving horse. Russell is at 23% when going for two in a row and if this horse improves again today she could be dangerous here.
RACE 6 – ALAPOCAS RUN STAKES
In this six-furlong stake, #10 Whereshetoldmetogo (5-2) won four stakes races in a row before getting his heels clipped in last. He won the New Castle Stakes here last year but was disqualified. He always puts in a strong effort and is a top contender today. #4 Golden Candy (7-2) is another horse that is always game. Anthony Pecoraro trainees are winning at a red-hot 35% this meet and this horse has the speed figures to be right there at the end. #3 Always Sunshine (9/2) is a nine-year-old that is still capable of an big race and he won here at Delaware last year. He may very well get a piece of the pie today.
- Joy and tears as Caravel sets sailPennsylvania-bred Caravel won the G3 Caress at Saratoga. in a bittersweet last start for breeder-owner-trainer Lizzie Merryman.
RACE 7 – G3 KENT STAKES
5-2-7-6/(dirt picks: 5-8-1-3)
In the $150,000, Grade 3 Kent Stakes for three-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles on the turf the Wesley Ward-trained #5 Like the King (8-5) is a graded stakes winner and ran 12th in the Kentucky Derby. There is a question about how much he likes the turf, but he has been working well on the grass and trainer Wesley Ward knows grass horses and has to be given the benefit of the doubt. The one to beat. #2 Yes This Time (7-2) won his last four starts including the English Channel Stakes at Gulfstream in May. This improving three-year-old is the largest threat to Like the King and should cross the wire first if that horse has an off day. #7 Wootton Asset (Fr) (6-1) faced stiff competition last year. He has been off since November but Graham Motion brings back horses ready and we expect him to run well today. One to consider. #6 Eamonn (5-1) is a little below the top contenders in class, but has been in very good form. One to use in the exotics.
RACE 8 – G3 DELAWARE OAKS
In the Grade 3, $300,000 Delaware Oaks for three-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles #7 Crazy Beautiful (6-5) with Mike Smith aboard looks very tough. This Ken McPeek trainee is a winner of multiple graded stakes races and is coming off a sharp victory in the G2 Summertime Oaks Stakes at Santa Anita. She did not run well in the Kentucky Oaks, but she appeared to have some problems in that race. Definitely the one to beat today. #4 Juror Number Four (6-1) got a terrible start in her last but closed ground late in the Grade 3 Miss Preakness. She’s has had quite a bit of bad racing luck in her career, and if she gets a clean trip she should do well today. #3 Midnight Obsession (4-1) tried gamely but finished second in the Lyphard Stakes at Penn last time. This horse has never run on a fast track so we aren’t sure how she will perform if she gets one today. But she is fast enough to be competitive in today’s event. #5 Hybrid Eclipse (10-1) has run some good races with a lifetime best figure in last try. May be part of the exotics.
3-1-7-8/(dirt picks: 8-3-5-7)
In this $40,000 maiden special weight for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on the turf Shug McGaughey is sending first-time starter #3 Pruning (5-2) to the gate with Joe Bravo aboard. There is no other strong entrant in this field so we are going to give it a go with this first time starter on top. #1 Unshakable U (8-1) showed early speed on the turf down at Gulfsteam and has a chance to be competitive today. #7 Indian Heart (5-1) ran by the fading horses last time out and has a chance with this group.