Delaware Park picks and horses to watch: July 2

Delaware Park has an eight-race card on tap this afternoon, Post time for the opener is 12:30 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!

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Carryovers: None; Notes: Main track fast, turf firm

Race #1 Picks: 5-4-6-1

Race #2 Picks: 2-1-3-6

Race #3 Picks: 9-6-1-3

Race #4 Picks: 1-3-6-8

In the $100,000 Alapocas Run Stakes at 6 furlongs, #1 Greeley and Ben (3-1) has 20 wins in 33 lifetime starts and four in six tries this year.  It’s surprising this gelding was put up for sale two back even though he is 8-years-old. He pressed a fast pace in the Mr. Prospector in last and held on well to finish a strong second. The pace shouldn’t be as fast today and we think he will hold on to win.  #3 Drafted (2-1), a  multiple graded stakes winner, closed from the clouds into a hot pace and passed Greeley and Ben to win the Mr. Prospector stakes in last. He will be closing again looking to pass the frontrunners if they tire. If he takes any of the purse money today, he will go over one million dollars in lifetime earnings. #6 Whereshetoldmetogo  (4-1) has been very impressive since Jevian Toledo took the reins, winning four of five including the $100,000 New Castle Stakes at Delaware last year. He’s a fighter who always seems to do just enough to win. #8 Hopeful Treasure (10-1) won the G3 Fall Highweight three back and is plenty capable on best.

Race #5 Picks: 8-2-3-9

In the $100,000 Christiana Stakes for 3YO Fillies at 1 1/6 miles on the turf, #2 Lay the Groundwork (4-1) ran a game second in her first turf try at Belmont. She should improve off of that effort and is one of the top contenders. This is trainer Chad Brown’s first charge to run at Delaware Park since he won the Delaware Handicap with Dunbar Road in 2020. #3 Saucy Lady T (7-2) may have been in over her head in a long string of graded stakes races. Now getting Lasix and trying the grass. It’s a bit of an experiment but the class relief could help. #5 Shad Nation (5-1) is Christophe Clement’s other runner. She has been solid on the turf facing tough competition. #9 Gizala (8-1) makes her first North American start and gets blinkers added for trainer Graham Motion. She was cross-entered at Woodbine but stays home.

Race #6 Picks: 2-3-5-1

In the Grade 3 $300,000 Delaware Oaks for 3YO fillies at 1 1/16 miles, #2 Midnight Stroll (9-2) probably lost about 3 lengths in the Black-Eyed Susan when checked hard in the clubhouse turn and never recovered. We think this race is at a distance she is comfortable with and she will bounce back from that effort and go off at a solid price. #3 Shotgun Hottie (5-2) was a closing third in the Grade 3 Gazelle at Aqueduct in last and is getting Lasix for the first time. Any improvement from last will make her a top contender today..  #5 Morning Matcha (6-1) has run some solid stakes races but found the going a little too tough when she stepped up to graded stakes races. She is a strong contender with this group and will be running late. She needs some early pace and can’t fall as far behind as she did in recent races. If she can maintain close contact to the group in the first half mile, she could be dangerous. #1 Republique (4-1) ran two strong races on the synthetic at Gulfstream. She has been training well and could surprise today.

Race #7 Picks: 5-9-3-6

In the $200,000 Grade 3 Kent Stakes for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles on the turf #5 Wow Whata Summer (8-1) held off Pilgrim Stakes winner Annapolis to win the Penn Mile at 83-1 in last. This gelding looks like he is coming into her own and we have him on top today. #9 Tommy Bee (3-1) is super consistent. He ran second to Stitched in his last outing and Stitched came back and won a stakes race next out. He will be coming off the pace and should be right there at the finish. #3 Elizar (Fr) (5-1) ran evenly at Belmont in his first race on turf in the Grade 2 Pennine Ridge. He needed that race and could produce a big effort today. #6 Main Event (5-2) had two solid performances at Gulfstream before faltering in a graded stakes race at Churchill. He has early speed, and the Delaware turf tends to be speed favoring. He will be the one to catch and could be dangerous. 

Race #8 Picks:  3-1-7-4