No Sabe Nada, Intrepid Daydream score in Del-certified races

They saved the best for last.

The $100,000 New Castle, the last of four Delaware certified races contested Wednesday and Thursday at Delaware Park, turned into an absolute thriller, with No Sabe Nada and Rebel Empire hooking up a quarter-mile from home and slugging it out all the way to the wire.

In the end, it was No Sabe Nada, with Kevin Gomez in the irons, who prevailed by a desperate nose. Show horse Golden Candy was another length back in third. Running time for the six-furlong test on a fast main track was 1:10.19.

Fans and bettors may not have been sure who won. Gomez was, however.

“I was pretty sure I got it,” Gomez said. “I was all confident that I had the win, so I was just having fun with Jaime [Rodriguez] out there.”

The win provided perhaps a bit of redemption for No Sabe Nada, a four-year-old Jersey Town gelding who had finished fourth at 4-5 odds in the Governors Day Handicap here Sept. 3. The bettors were not deterred by that outing, however, and made No Sabe Nada the 9-5 favorite.

It also continued a hot season for Gomez, the native of Guatemala riding full-time at Delaware for the first time. Gomez had 45 wins at the meet entering today’s action, and he and Daniel Centeno are neck-and-neck for second-place in the standings behind Jaime Rodriguez.

“It’s the first time I come here full-time, and so far it’s working well,” Gomez said afterwards. “[Agent] Mark Mace is doing a good job, we’re working well together, working together to get even better day by day.”

Gomez is currently on track for career highs in wins and earnings. He said he hasn’t decided whether he will resume riding in Maryland following the meet or look elsewhere.

In the New Castle, Gomez had his mount in good position early, perched wide and never far off the lead of leader Rebel Empire, with Mychel Sanchez up. Rebel Empire held a half-length lead after an opening quarter-mile in 22.88 seconds and maintained the edge by a similar margin after a half in 45.69, by then with No Sabe Nada breathing down his neck.

No Sabe Nada
No Sabe Nada (#8) knew where the wire was in the New Castle, narrowly overcoming Rebel Empire. Photo by The Racing Biz.

Rebel Empire gave no quarter in the stretch but could not quite withstand the bid of the four-year-old No Sabe Nada. The winner returned backers $5.60, and the exacta paid $39.20 for a buck.

“He always tries,” Gomez said of No Sabe Nada, who is trained by Ned Allard for R Racing Stable. “He gave me a big run today.”

No Sabe Nada has six career wins from 16 starts and earnings above $300,000. Oddly enough, all six of his wins have come in his 11 Delaware Park starts.

Two races prior to the New Castle, favored Intrepid Daydream and jockey Jevian Toledo made short work of the field in winning the Tax Free Shopping Distaff for fillies and mares by 2 ¾ lengths in 1:10.08. It was her second consecutive victory, and it gave trainer Gary Capuano his second win in the week’s four Delaware certified races; his son Phil also won one.

Capuano had cross-entered Intrepid Daydream, a four-year-old Maryland-bred Jess’s Dream filly, in this contest and in an allowance Friday at Laurel Park. But he opted for this spot, which proved to be a wise decision.

“She got a good post here, and it just worked out,” Capuano said. “I entered her down there, and she got the inside post there, and there’s speed in there. It just seemed this was the right spot, and so it all worked out. It’s nice when the plan works out.”

Intrepid Daydream has five wins from 11 starts and earnings of more than $260,000. She is a homebred for Larry Fowler.

“It’s pretty amazing. It’s a great feeling,” Fowler said with a laugh. “I’ll take it.”