Jerry Robb has three for the money in Lewes Stakes
A half-dozen Delaware certified three-year-old fillies are scheduled to face the starter in Wednesday’s $50,000 Lewes Stakes at Delaware Park, and three of the four lowest-odds runners share a common trait.
The favorite, second favorite, and fourth favorite all come from the barn of trainer Jerry Robb. And all are homebreds for his and wife Gina’s No Guts No Glory Farm.
“Trying to hit the triple,” Robb said, and his horses might be able to do it.
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Robb is 4-for-9 at the Delaware meet thus far, tied for the third-most wins at the meet, and his $150,060 in purse earnings are alone in third.
“I was only going to run two, but they needed another one to make the race go, so I put another one in,” he explained.
The only one of Robb’s trio with a win over the strip is Mama G’s Wish, who has a win from six local starts. Mama G’s Wish didn’t break her maiden until her tenth career outing, but she’s been on something of a roll since, winning five of her last eight with two runner-up finishes.
Last time out, she won an allowance/optional claimer by two lengths as the favorite. Carol Cedeno will ride.
That Cedeno is riding Mama G’s Wish is meaningful, because Robb’s go-to rider is Xavier Perez, and Perez has been that runner’s regular pilot.
So where’s Perez in the Lewes?
He’ll ride morning line favorite Bandits Warrior.
Bandits Warrior, a half-sister to $800,000 earner Anna’s Bandit, took an allowance/optional claimer June 12 at Laurel Park for her second career victory. She won impressively at first asking in May 2021 but then missed 10 months with shin issues before returning to action.
Her recent win may signal that she’s about to start living up to the promise she showed as a two-year-old – and that Perez’s decision to pick her as his mount here suggests.
“She won real nice the other day, beat a couple decent horses,” Robb said. “Hopefully, she comes back. I’m running her back a little bit quick because it’s a certified race, but that’s a race I really didn’t want to miss – might be able to get some black type [for stakes wins or placings] for some of these homebreds.”
One of the runners Bandit’s Warrior defeated last out was Robb’s third runner in the field, Fuhgeddaboutit, who finished fourth that day. A daughter of Great Notion, Fuhgeddaboutit won at first asking in February but has found the going tougher against winners, losing six straight.
Christian Olmo will ride.
“She wants to run off the pace,” Robb said of the filly. “But she’s so strong-headed, they always drag her up with [the speedy Bandits Warrior].”
So if Olmo succeeds and Robb gets his way, Fuhgeddaboutit will relax early and try to make a late run, while Bandits Warrior is up close and Mama G’s Wish finds a mid-pack position.
Trainer Jamie Ness will try to spoil the Robb party with Cashing Big Checks (7-2) for owners Troy Johnson and Jagger Inc. The California-bred Mr. Big filly has made all of her career starts at Delaware Park, all coming last year.
Cashing Big Checks narrowly defeated Mama G’s Wish to win the Blue Hen Stakes last August in her second career start. She then finished fourth in the Small Wonder and seventh in the White Clay Creek and has not raced since that October contest.
Cashing Big Checks has been working steadily – and fast – at Delaware towards her return. She’s recorded bullet works at four, five, and six furlongs over the last two months, and on June 10, she breezed a half-mile in a sharp 46 3/5 seconds, fastest of 53.
Jamie Rodriguez, leading the meet with 18 wins, three more than Cedeno, will ride.
Rounding out the field are Golden Eib Micrphn (10-1), with Fabion Jones up for Everton Smith, and My Sister Clurrie (12-1), who will have J. D. Acosta in the irons for trainer Kelly Deiter.