Delaware Park picks and horses to watch: July 30

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!

Check out our other handicapping here!

Carryovers: None Notes: Main track fast, turf firm

Race #1 Picks: 1-3-7-4

In this $5000 maiden claiming race at 5 ½ furlongs, #1 Hour Cat (3-1) was leading but faded in the stretch in last. He should have more endurance today in his second race back from an eight-month layoff. #3 Any Minute (4-1) is dropping to $5000 after running evenly at $7500.  He should be competitive with this field. #7 Consider Me (2-1) is dropping and will try sprinting on dirt for the first time. Jockey switch and drop could help.  

Race #2 Picks: 6-2-4-1

In this optional claiming/starter allowance race for fillies and mares at 6 furlongs, #6 Free to Fly (8-5) is coming from Monmouth where she won her last two. She has had experience at Delaware, winning twice in three tries. She has run in the top three in twenty-one races in a row. #2 Always Talking (4-1) is coming in from Parx and getting her regular jockey, Angel Castillo. This mare has lots of early speed and will try to take them gate to wire. #4 Awesome View (2-1) has won two out her last three and fits well here. #1 Thea’s Theme (10-1) has faced some of these horses before and will need to run her best to beat them today.

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

In this $12,500 claiming race at 5 1/2 furlongs, #5 Fast Cash (3-1) has been running against lower level claimers and is moving up. However, he has the right running style for this race, in which all his rivals seem to fade late. We think he will be able to make the class move and still win today.  #6 Satchel de Ritches (4-1) won at this level in last after a class drop. A repeat of that race would make him a top contender today. #1 Mr Fantasy (2-1) should be able to get an uncontested lead. He will be trying to hold on late as he tends to fade in the stretch, but the competition is not strong today and we think he will hold on for a piece of the action. #3 Pepe and Heywood (8-1) is another horse who will be vying for the early lead and fading late.

Race #4 Picks: 1-2-7-5

In this optional claiming/starter allowance race for fillies and mares at about 5 furlongs on the turf, #1 Miranda’s Desmond (3-1) had a strong race last time after a six-month break. First time she’s been in for a claim and sheshould improve in her second back and is a contender. This looks like a good spot. #2 Paper Mansion (7-2) has been running well on the dirt, and trainer Jamie Ness does well when switching his horses from dirt to grass. She’s not facing any horses who have proven success on the turf and she is a contender. #7 She’s a Big Deal (8-5) has early speed and ran well in her only turf start two back. Should be in the mix today. #5 Proper Grammar (6-1) Has not been running well in New York but the move to Delaware might wake her up.

Race #5 Picks: 6-5-9-10

In this $12,500 claiming race for N3L at one mile, #6 Heffner (9-5) is dropping to $12,500 after being very competitive at $20,000. This looks like a “drop to win” scenario and he looks better than his rivals.  We have him crossing the wire first today. #5 Lifespan (6-1) has already beaten a couple of others in this field and looks well placed here. He should be in the mix. #9 Urban Warrior (5-1) had some trouble in last, but will still need to run faster to beat the top contenders. He should be able to win a minor award. #10 Code Name Brody (2-1) has been away for almost a year but did win his last before the break. In 14 tries Sam Cronk’s horses are winless when coming back from a 180+ day break.

Race #6 Picks: 6-10-4-8

In this $40,000 maiden special weight race at 1 1/16 miles on the turf, #6 Bunker Hill (7-2) broke last in his most recent race at Monmouth but still finished well to finish fifth. With a better break we think he will close to defeat this field. #10 Silk War (5-2) was racing well on the turf at Laurel before a ten-month layoff. If he can run those races back, he will be a top contender. #4 Union League (6-1) Graham Motion firster has been working well, including a bullet five-furlong work on July 22. #8 Victors Valiant (10-1) had two strong efforts on the turf at Monmouth before running second in a race that was taken off the turf here at Delaware. Fits well with this group.

Race #7 Picks: 4-1-2-5

In this allowance/$28,000 optional claiming race for fillies and mares at 6 furlongs, #4 Shero (8-5) won here at Delaware going away in last against similar competition. Speed figures are higher than the others in this group and we think he will make it two-in-a row. #1 Juror Number Four (3-1) was running well at this level before coming up empty in the Dashing Beauty Stakes. She fits well here and is a contender. #2 Alayla (4-1) Also came up empty in the Dashing Beauty but has the most early speed and if she runs back the races from last year she could steal it. #5 Plane Drunk (6-1) comes from the barn of Jamie Ness, who will be sending out his new claim for the first time. She was beaten by Shero in last, but ran a decent race.

Race #8 Picks: 4-6-2-7

In this $5000 claiming race at 5 ½ furlongs #4 Seany P (7-2) is making his second attempt at this level. Struggled in first try but we are willing to throw that race out and believe he had an off day. We have him on top. #6 Zen Pi (9-5) quickly dropped from a Maryland-bred allowance to $12,500, and now to $5000. The class drop says he should win, but we are a little suspicious. #2 Big Hambone (5-2) had a decent race in last attempt at this level and could repeat that effort. #7 Boppin Anda Weavin (6-1) throws in an occasional good race and could factor in today.