Whereshetoldmetogo prevails in New Castle

Even the combined might of trainer Jamie Ness and rider Jaime Rodriguez wasn’t enough to deny Whereshetoldmetogo a second consecutive New Castle Stakes win Friday at Delaware Park.

Ness and Rodriguez, leading Delaware’s trainer and jockey standings, posted the upset earlier on the card in the Tax Free Shopping Distaff with Philadelphia Belle, who most directly benefited when the big favorite, Intrepid Daydream, broke in air. And they made a strong bid to sweep the day’s stakes with a dead-game Indian Lake, who tried all the way to the wire in a head defeat in the New Castle.

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But Whereshetoldmetogo had just a bit too much.

“He’s awesome,” winning trainer Brittany Russell said of the seven-year-old Whereshetoldmetogo, whose prior start, in Delaware’s Alapocas Run Stakes, came July 2. “This was obviously the plan for a long time. I wanted to run him in between.”

Under regular pilot Jevian Toledo, aboard for the seventh consecutive race, Whereshetoldmetogo was away alertly to press the pace set by Indian Lake. Indian Lake, winner of the 2021 Bald Eagle Derby, a 12-furlong grass affair at Laurel, led through a quarter-mile in 23.32 seconds and a half in 46.06.

All the while, Whereshetoldmetogo seemed poised to inhale that rival at will.

But when he bid up to even terms, a funny thing happened: Indian Lake refused to go away and even re-rallied late.

“To be honest with you, I did not train him very hard, so the last part, I was getting a little anxious, especially with [Indian Lake] running such a huge race,” Russell said. “But our horse ran huge, and he got the job done. That’s all that matters.”

The win was Whereshetoldmetogo’s 17th from 36 lifetime outings. He is four-for-four this year and now has earned over $955,000. He is also a gaudy 7-for-9 at Delaware Park. Running time for the six furlongs on a fast main track was 1:10.17.

“Looking at his earnings, it would be really fun to see him get to a million,” Russell allowed.

Indian Lake was second, and Tappin Cat rallied for third, just three parts of a length behind the winner. 

Whereshetoldmetogo
Whereshetoldmetogo just overcame Indian Lake to win the New Castle. Photo by The Racing Biz.

Whereshetoldmetogo paid $3.00 to win as the odds-on choice. The exacta returned $5.10 on a one-dollar wager.

Two races prior, the Ness-Rodriguez team would not be denied, as Philadelphia Belle sped to the front and did not look back. When 2-5 choice Intrepid Daydream broke poorly, that left Philadelphia Belle all by herself in front, and she scored by a half-length in 1:10.55.

The win came three races after Ness and owners Madison Avenue Racing Stable and Jagger Inc. claimed the five-year-old Jump Start mare, a Pennsylvania-bred, for $35,000 out of an allowance/optional claimer at Parx Racing.

“We claimed her for this race,” Ness said. “A couple reasons: she’s PA-bred, and we race in PA, and we looked up and saw she was [Delaware] certified, so everything worked out good.”

It was Philadelphia Belle’s seventh win from 17 career outings.She has earned $312,825.

She paid $10.00 to win and topped an exacta, with 9-2 Gunfyre Gal in second, that returned $18.40 for a one-dollar wager. Intrepid Daydream rushed up after her tardy start to reach nearly even terms with the leader before fading in late stretch to fourth.

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