Witty looks for bounceback effort in Stanton

Wednesday’s $50,000 Stanton Stakes for Delaware certified three-year-olds at Delaware Park will have one of the odder rosters of runners you’ll see. The six-horse group includes two stakes winners and a stakes-placed horse – to go with two maidens and a third who recently graduated in maiden claiming company.

The 7-5 morning line favorite is Witty. Trained by McLane Hendriks for owner-breeder Elizabeth Merryman – Hendriks’ mother – Witty had a flashy, three-race win streak snapped last out when seventh over a boggy turf course in the Grade 2 Penn Mile.

Prior, the Great Notion gelding, a half-brother to graded stakes winner Caravel, had won three consecutive dirt races, two of them in stakes company and all by at least 4 ¾ lengths. After his romp in Laurel Park’s Spectacular Bid Jan. 29, he was off until the June 3 Penn Mile.

Carol Cedeno, who has ridden Witty in all five of his starts, has the mount.

Witty’s toughest competition figures to come from No Sabe Nada (8-5). The Scott Peck trainee has made six career starts and never been worse than third, including three wins. He beat older horses last out in an allowance contest, gutting out a narrow win over next-out winner Hero Tiger. Last year No Sabe Nada scored his most significant victory, winning the First State Dash over the strip.

Roberto Alvarado, Jr., who rode the Jersey Town gelding in his last start, has the return mount.

Another contender in this six-furlong Stanton is Crabs N Beer (3-1). Trained by Jamie Ness, who leads all trainers at the meet with 13 wins, Crabs N Beer gave a good account of himself last out when third in the one-mile James Murphy Stakes on the turf  during the Preakness undercard. He has three wins from 11 career outings and will have regular pilot Jaime Rodriguez aboard.

The rest of the field includes recent maiden winner Flaming East (10-1) and maidens Steady John and Liltonytwophones, both 15-1.

The Stanton is carded as the sixth race with an estimated post time of 3:00 p.m.

  • Witty was an easy winner in the Spectacular Bid Stakes. Photo by Jim McCue.
  • Witty cruised home much the best in the Pennsylvania Nursery Stakes. Photo by Barbara Weidl/EQUI-PHOTO.