The Delaware Handicap

Grade I, 10 furlongs,  Purse: $750K

A small field goes forward at Delaware Park for the crown jewel of the meet. Only one horse in the field has raced at the challenging ten-furlong distance. That, of course, is the ever-so-classy Princess of Sylmar (#6, 1/1), who won the Grade I Alabama at Saratoga in a career-best performance last year. On her best, she should defeat this field. But will she be on form? Her last race was a month-ago — the grueling Ogden Phipps against Beholder and Close Hatches.  Just a small regression off that effort makes her vulnerable in here.

Belle Gallantey (#1, 10/1) could benefit from an easy pace scenario. She held her own against Princess of Sylmar, Beholder, and Close Hatches last time out, although you have to wonder whether that race took too much out of her. She’d need to be improved still to upset today. Flashy American (#2, 7/2) picks up excellent local jockey Alex Cintron. She’s won 8 times, and on her best, it’s possible.  But this seems a bit too hard for her.  Molly Morgan (#3, 3-1) is getting some buzz after her GII romp last time out. She certainly figures and could be rounding into career form. Gamay Noir (#4, 10/1) steps up in class after a nice speedy win over the Delaware surface.  Might not be enough pace in here for here, but she did close nicely in her last two without much pace.  She should be good value underneath Princess of Sylmar. Bryan’s Jewel (#5, 15/1) rates only a longshot chance at best, and only if she relishes the long distance.

What I’m thinking of playing:

There’s the risk that Belle Gallantey gets an easy lead to upset the field or that Molly Morgan continues improving.  But, depending on price, I’m most interested in Gamay Noir, depending on the price in the exacta and win pools.  Possibly to win, and also under Princess of Sylmar in a straight exacta. I’ll be covering the race live on twitter @alldayracing, so tune in to find out the final plays based on the odds.

Good luck!


Image:  Tennessee Wanderer, “Delaware Park.” Copyright 2009


Schedule for July 9 – July 12

Here’s what coming up this week at All Day Racing:

Wednesday, July 9:

On Twitter @alldayracing:  Belmont Park, “The Mid-day Pick 3”, Races 4-6. Post Time: 2:53 P.M. ET

Article:  The Generic Horseplayer Revisited

Thursday, July 10:

On Twitter @alldayracing: Delaware Park, “Late T-bred Double”, Races 6 & 7, featuring Nick Shuk Memorial Stakes (7.5f turf for 3 year olds). Post time, 3:30 ET

Article: The Newcomer’s Guide to the Races

Friday, July 11:

On Twitter @alldayracing:  Belmont Park, “The Late Pick 4”, Race 6-9.  Post time: 5:35 ET

Article:  The Three-Year Old Division

Saturday, July 12:

On Twitter @alldayracing:  Delaware Park, “The Delaware Handicap (G1).”  First post at Delaware is at 1:15 p.m.  PP’s forthcoming.

Article:  Previewing the Delaware Handicap

Good luck with all your wagering this week!


Closer Look: Mass Media

Reid the News was the pick in today’s 7th at Delaware.  A 2-year old son of Mass Media, out of a El Corredor mare, he dominated the field, paid 7-1, and keyed some huge multi-race exotics (with a 40-1 shot in the 6th). Entering the race, Mass Media, who stands now for only $1,500, was winning with over 20% of his 2-year old starters over 167 starts, with an ROI for $2.59 (for $2.00)  His first-time starters hit significantly less at around 10% from 79 starts.  But they still manage to return $2.44 on $2.00.  These numbers will only raise with today’s result.

Mass Media currently stands at Red River Farms in Louisiana.  He won the Grade I Forego at Belmont in 2005, the Grade III Sport Page at Aqueduct, and he placed in several other sprint stakes.   He won on debut  by almost twelve lengths at Louisiana Downs (although he is Kentucky-bred.)  Worth watching his offspring everywhere for good value, but especially in future 2 year old Louisiana-bred races.

Correction:  Fixed error in 2-year old starters stat. The 20% stat was misidentified as Mass Media’s FTS statistic. 

Delaware Park, Race 6, Coverage begins 3:15 ET

Race of the Day, June 23

Delaware Park, Race 6, Maiden Claiming $30K, 1 mile 70 yds, Fillies and Mares, 3 and up, Purse: $24K

It’s tough to overgeneralize about the bias of particular courses.  Data metrics — at least the publicly available ones — tend to be incomplete and flawed.  But memories can be even more selective.  Yes, the plural of anecdote is not data.  That said, Delaware’s turf course — particularly at the lower levels — tends to produce less dramatic turf closes than you would see at say, Belmont.   But this doesn’t mean that they are chalky.  In the most recent twenty-five races around the distance, only 52% of the winners have been 5/1 or less (according to Brisnet).  A whopping 24% have been 10/1 or more.  Can we make our day — and start the week off right — with a long odds winner in this race?  Let’s look at the contenders:

  • Sam’s Melody (#1, 6-1) is fast enough to get it done here, and this is a truly terrible morning line.   5-2 seems fair for the Dale Capuano trainee, simply on the previous speed figure alone.  It’s quite possible, given the others, that you might get more.
  • Stalled (#3, 10-1) goes for Mid-Atlantic turf guru Jonathan Shepard. Not a terrible amount of turf breeding on the surface, but I trust Shepard’s eye.  Still, this is not the place for a “normal” first-time starter, as there are several solid other contenders here.
  • Northern Smile (#6, 12-1) is another surprisingly terrible morning line.  Plenty fast in her debut after lagging at the start, a better start could have her involved and improved.  Her trainer doesn’t usually have them ready first-time (or second-time), but she certainly should figure at the end.
  • It tough to get a read on Lionhearted Lady  (#7, 5-1) who couldn’t keep pace at a 5f turf sprint last time.  The stretch-out should help, but she’d really need to improve to find the winner’s circle.
  • Balansense (#10, 9/2) continues to drop down the maiden ranks after a terrible effort off-turf last time out.  There’s a fast enough speed rating in the PP’s, but she’d have to capture some old form.  She’ll probably be overbet, and I wouldn’t play her less than 8-1.
  • Gwent (#11, 7/2) is a Graham Motion-trainee trying turf for the first time.  She’s 0 for 3, with 3 so-so performances on the dirt as a heavy favorite.  Terrible workouts, and you have to wonder why she only now goes to the grass.  Another who may win, but will be overbet.

What I’m thinking of playing

Prior to the race, it looks like we’ll see some value opportunities here.  I expect the public to overbet Gwent, Lionhearted Lady, and even Balansense, which should create some value for Sam’s Melody and Northern Smile.  A split win bet — something that is a relatively profitable angle when you can get past the top two favorites — might be in order.   I’ll also take a deep look — and you should too — at the Pick 5 and the doubles starting and ending with this race.  Note that the 8th race at Delaware is for Arabians, if you play a Pick 3 into the last.

Live coverage at 3:15 ET on Twitter @alldayracing.  See you then!


Delaware Park, Race 7, 3:45 P.M. ET

Race of the Day, June 12

Delaware Park, Race 7, 3:50 P.M. 6f, Dashing Beauty Stakes, 3 and Up, Fillies & Mares, Purse: $50K

Off the turf at Delaware, so I’ll be covering the 7th race, an overnight stakes for sprinting fillies and mares on the dirt. The 5 and the 7 are scratched. Here’s what you need to know:

Five Facts:

  1. This is a particularly deep field for a weekday feature at Delaware who has an average field size of under seven runners. Bigger fields can typically (but not always) yield better opportunities, despite the added risk.
  2. Geeky Gorgeous (#10, 7/2) is a lukewarm favorite.  A NJ-bred, she’s been tearing up open company at Monmouth.  She’s love this distance, but is taking her show on the road to another speed-favoring track in Delaware Park.  She’s a presser — a good style here – and should get a good pace.
  3. She’s Ordained (#9, 9/2) is stakes-winner sprinting mare. She’s been a tad less competitive lately and it’s possible she’s lost a step.
  4. Quiet Hour (#6, 10-1) has been a monster since finding a fast dirt track (3 for 4 lifetime).  This lightly raced filly moves into the Navarro barn and rates an solid chance.
  5. There are several horses who will gun for the lead. Clear Pasaj (#4, 12-1), Crazy About Me (#1, 6-1) and Wardelle (#8, 15-1) comprise this group.  The two scratches were also frontrunners, so there was some concern about too much pace.

Four Questions:

  1. How does Geeky Gorgeous fare outside of the Garden State?  She’s the best on paper, but there always new track risk (even though the profiles are mostly similar).
  2. Has She’s Ordained lost a step?  On the top of her game, she’s a strong contender.  Make sure you get an appropriate price.
  3. How does Quiet Hour respond to the new barn, and can she keep her top form?
  4. Can Ms. Cruisen’ (#11, 15-1) put together a top lifetime performance?  She looks like she’s sitting on a big one, but it would have to be huge.

Fair Odds:

  1. Crazy About Me: 8/1
  2. Papa’s Forest:  20/1
  3. Galiana: 30/1
  4. Clear Pasaj:  15/1
  6. Quiet Hour:  6/1
  8. Wardelle: 20/1
  9. She’s Ordained: 8/1
  10. Geeky Gorgeous: 4/1
  11. Ms. Cruisen: 10/1

What I’m thinking of betting:

Geeky Gorgeous stands out on paper and, with some other contenders, I’d like to see her price rise to 4/1.  If she’s a heavy favorite (say 8/5), I’d try to beat her, likely with a split win bet between Quiet Hour and Ms. Cruisen.

Tune in @alldayracing for live coverage starting at about 1:45 p.m.!

All Day Racing Calendar for June 11 – June 13

Here’s the “Race of the Day” Calendar for the remainder of this week:

Wednesday, June 11:  Presque Isle Downs, Race 1, 5:20 P.M. ET, Maiden, 1 mile, 3 yr. old, Fillies, Purse: $35K.

Thursday, June 12:  Delaware Park, Race 7, 3:50 P.M. 6f, Dashing Beauty Stakes, Purse: $50K*

Friday, June 13:  Santa Anita Park, Race 7, 8:45 P.M. ET, Optional Claiming First-level Allowance, 1 mile, turf, 3 yr. old, Purse:  $58K

Tune in at @alldayracing on Twitter for live coverage!

*changed from different race on 6/12 due to track conditions

Delaware Park, Race 7, 3:45 P.M. ET

Race of the Day, June 2, 2014

Delaware Park, Wilmington, Delaware

Race 7.  First-level Allowance. 1 mile, 70 yards. Purse: 39K. 3:57 P.M. ET

Running from mid-May until late October, Delaware Park is a welcome addition to the Monday racing slate.  Aided by slots, purses are fairly rich for a mid-level track, and racing is competitive.  I’ve spent a good amount of time there as well — having once lived a few hours down I-95 for almost a decade.  It’s a great place to spend a day.

Today’s feature is a first-level allowance traveling a little over a mile. The entry of Able Baker Charlie/Emotional Stroll (#1, 9/5) should both run, with Able Baker Charlie the faster of the two. Able Baker Charlie has questions, however. He’s 3 for 23 and has never raced at Delaware (but he’s 2 for 2 since the claim by Michael Pino.)  Emotional Stroll has been training sharp since the claim by Pino and is relatively lightly raced for this group.  He’d need to improve significantly to win, but he does provide some additional insurance for those who chose to bet the entry based on Able Baker Charlie.

Interchange (#6, 5-2) catches the eye.  A TC-nominated 3-year old, he was well-beaten in two stakes tries and second last time at a similar level. He returns to Delaware Park where he ran a  career-best speed last September.  An effort close to that would likely find the winner’s circle today. Winding Road (#2, 4-1) figures on speed and distance, but still has his allowance condition available to him as a 7-year old.  That’s not prohibitive, but it’s enough of a question to require a reasonable price to choose him. Forest Jingles (#7, 8-1) makes his third start of the layoff while stretching out to his preferred distance.  He’ll likely need the lead to win, something that isn’t near a sure thing.  Who Dat Boy (#8, 15-1) rates a very solid long shot threat.  Another making his third start of the layoff, he won under the condition last year, but was disqualified.  He has a troubling 0 for 10 record at Delaware with 6 seconds which will likely keep his price high.


  1. Does Able Baker Charlie maintain his career form?  Even so, he might be too slow given the others.
  2. Does Interchange enjoy the return to Delaware?   He might have an affinity for it — having won here last year, or he might just have been a fast two-year old who is declining.
  3. Can Winding Road handle this class level?  He’s plenty fast and seemingly in good form.


There are enough questions about Able Baker Charlie to begin to look elsewhere.  Interchange may crush the field, but he needs to find old form to do so.   A flyer on Who Dat Boy — assuming a double-digit price — might just make your day.

Tune in @alldayracing on twitter at 3:45 P.M. ET for coverage!


All Day Racing Schedule for June 2 – June 7

All Day Racing is going to Belmont Park. Starting Wednesday, I’ll be live at Belmont Park covering the week’s racing and, of course, California Chrome in the Belmont Stakes.  Here’s the schedule of the features:

Monday, June 2:  Race of the Day. Delaware Park, Race 7.  First-level Allowance. 1 mile, 70 yards. Purse: 39K. 3:57 P.M. ET.

Wednesday, June 4:  Live from Belmont Park.  Race of the Day:  Race 4, Maiden Claiming, Turf, 1 1/16 miles, NY-bred, Purse: $41K

Thursday, June 5:  Live from Belmont Park.  Race of the Day: Race 1, Claiming $16K, Non-winners of Two lifetime. Fillies.  6f. NY-bred. Purse: $62K

Friday, June 6:  Live from Belmont Park.  Race of the Day:  Belmont Gold Cup, 2 Miles on the Turf, Purse: $200K, 6:10 P.M.

Saturday, June 7:  BELMONT DAY.  $8 million in purses — stakes all day.  Live from Belmont Park.  Special focus on Met Mile (Purse: $750K), featuring top older horse Palace Malice, and the Belmont Stakes (Purse: $1.5M)

Be sure to check twitter @alldayracing!