Delaware Park: Stakes-quality allowance featured

Delaware Park kicks off its 2022 campaign Wednesday with a solid eight-race card, featuring an open, $50,000 allowance that includes some stakes-quality runners.

Also on the agenda are a couple of maiden special weight events and an allowance/optional claimer for three-year-old fillies. Three turf races have drawn good-sized fields to spice up the wagering.

The track has modified its schedule from prior years. Gone is the Monday-Wednesday-Thursday-Saturday schedule of recent years. This year Delaware will toggle between a Wednesday-Saturday schedule and the same slate minus Fridays.

The open allowance is a one-mile affair on the main track for three-year-olds and up scheduled as the sixth race. It’s attracted stakes winners Phat Man, Tappin Cat, Indian Lake, and Frosted Grace, along with the graded stakes-placed Borracho.

The most interesting horse from a storyline angle is American Patrol. Since switching into Cal Lynch’s barn, the four-year-old American Pharoah colt has won three of four (and was second in the other contest), including a nine-length win over the strip last June. He returned from a 10-month layoff in April to win at Parx.

Though four, he’s made only five career starts. What kind is he? Today’s race, against a salty group, will tell us something about that.

[Joe Parisi’s picks for DelPark opening day]

Borracho figures to be on the lead early in the contest for trainer Mike Gorham, a Delaware regular, and if allowed to control the pace, he could take ‘em all the way. But the Churchill shipper Frosted Grace figures to be up close, too; the Tom Amoss trainee found the waters a little deep last out in the Knicks Go on the Kentucky Derby undercard, but he’s got plenty of good efforts on his resume, and you have to imagine Amoss isn’t shipping for the fun of it.

The race prior is a mile-and-70-yards maiden special on the turf that’ll have a full starting gate. Diva Ready is the 7-2 morning line favorite in a wide-open affair. The race features a bevy of well-bred horses from quality barns and could – in the long tradition of Delaware Park – be one that produces some horses to keep an eye on.

First post is 12:30.