DELAWARE: CHUB WAGON-HELLO BEAUTIFUL REMATCH ON TAP
While the Grade 2 Delaware Handicap and Grade 3 Robert G. Dick Memorial Stakes figure to draw most of the attention on Saturday afternoon’s Delaware Park card, the two undercard stakes also are worth a gander.
The $100,000 Dashing Beauty, a six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares, will go as the fourth race, while the $50,000 Battery Park, a two-turn contest for three-year-olds and up, will go as race six. Those two sandwich the Dick Memorial.
The Dashing Beauty features a rematch of the undefeated Chub Wagon and five-time stakes winner Hello Beautiful. Those two runners engaged in a long and spirited battle in the Shine Again Stakes at Pimlico June 13, with Chub Wagon emerging a neck to the good.
In the aftermath of that race, Guadalupe Preciado, trainer of Chub Wagon, indicated that the Grade 2 Smile Sprint Invitational might be next on his star’s dance card. But that race came and went July 3 without the daughter of Hey Chub; Miles Ahead won it for Eddie Plesa.
Instead, Chub Wagon will put her 7-for-7 ledger on the line in the Dashing Beauty. Jomar Torres, who’s ridden her in five of seven starts, will do so once again. Chub Wagon is 4-5 on the morning line.
Hello Beautiful is 5-1 on the morning line but likely to go off shorter than that. She’s won seven of 15 career starts, posting earnings of more than $400,000. The Shine Again was her first start in almost four months, so bettors looking to stand against the favorite might be inclined to use “second-off-the-layoff” as the ground on which to stand.
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Sheldon Russell – husband of trainer Brittany Russell — will ride the Maryland-bred, as he has done in 13 of her 15 starts.
The race also includes the show horse from the Shine Again, Paisley Singing (15-1), who was three lengths behind Hello Beautiful, and fifth-place finisher Anna’s Bandit (15-1). Anna’s Bandit, who was making her first start in 11 months in that contest, has earned nearly $800,000 and will have Xavier Perez in the irons.
Two races later, a solid group of older runners – five of eight have earned at least $250,000 – will line up in the 1 1/16-mile Battery Park.
Phat Man, the 2-1 morning line favorite, scratched out of a Parx Racing allowance Tuesday for this spot. He’s been keeping the right sort of company; eight of his last 10 starts have been against graded foes, and he’s won one of those while placing in three others.
Florent Geroux will ride for trainer Kent Sweezey.
Galerio (3-1) continues to churn out good races for trainer Dale Bennett. The Maryland-bred Jump Start gelding was third last out in the Grade 3 Salvator Mile at Monmouth Park, and while he has not won a stake to date, he’s finished second or third in all four of his added-money tries. Yomar Ortiz will ride.
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Trainer Dale Capuano will send out the hard-hitting Dixie Drawl (4-1) for TV personality Maury Povich’s Mopo Racing. Dixie Drawl has won two straight in high-end allowance company, including a last-out score in an open allowance at Parx.
“Hopefully, he’ll run well,” Capuano said. “He’s won a couple in a row. We’ll see how he handles Delaware; he’s never run there but he ran good at Parx, and if you run well there, generally you can run anywhere.”
Jorge Ruiz, who has ridden Dixie Drawl in his last five outings, has the mount.
“One of the things I like is he’s been pretty good at getting them out of the gate and getting good position,” Capuano said of Ruiz. “He works every morning, so he knows the horses, and that’s important.”
The Battery Park is followed by a claiming race, then an allowance, and then the Delaware Handicap.