Saratoga and Del Mar are in full swing, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t great racing elsewhere. The Grade II $750k Delaware Handicap will pit two of the best fillies in America against each other. Let’s break down this strong group of lasses.
#1 Royal Delta (Empire Maker x Delta Princess by A.P. Indy) 7-5: Wow, did you see that last race? She blew the competition off the track to win the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis and couldn’t have done it with any less ease. The filly was racing with Mike Smith up for the first time and the team probably would have beat the boys in the Stephen Foster had they been in that race just an hour or two later. Classy as they come, Roya Delta likes today’s distance and is as good of or better form than she has ever been in. Trainer Bill Mott has got a scary good racehorse on his hands.
#2 Tiz Miz Sue (Tiznow x Sue’s Good News by Woodman) 12-1: Grade 3 winning and Grade 1 placed filly failed as the 4/5 favorite last out in the Obeah Handicap over today’s racecourse. That was surprising given how sharp she has been and the affinity she has for Delaware Park. She’s got a tall task in dispatching the top two, but we have to give her a punchers chance. Joe Rocco rides for Steve Hobby.
#3 Cash for Clunkers (Tiznow x Miss Dixie Dreamer by Dixieland Band) 8-1: Set a blistering pace last out before giving in to multiple Grade 1 winner It’s Tricky in the final strides. She is a classy mare and showed it with that effort. There figures to be plenty of pace in this race and it’s going to be tough for her to withstand the early heat under Alan Garcia. Richard Violette is the trainer.
#4 Daring Reality (Include x Miz Emmalou by Well Decorated) 30-1: Has failed miserably against much lesser competition in her most recent trips to the track. It would take a monumental effort of epic proportions for her to find the winner’s circle. She might stumble along for fourth. Cathal Lynch trains and Ricardo Santanta gets the call to ride.
#5 Pachattack (Pulpit x El Laoob by Red Ransom): Failed turf experiments are really piling up for this girl. She couldn’t get close last out in the Grade 3 All Along Stakes, but before that she won the Grade 3 Doubledogdare Stakes at Keeneland. Her dirt races have been good as she earned second place finishes in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic and Personal Ensign. Those are both Grade 1 races. IF she can bring her best race and the top two have a bad day then she will give them hell. Kent Desormeax will be aboard for trainer Graham Motion.
#6 Awesome Maria (Maria’s Mon x Discreetly Awesome by Awesome Again) 9-5: The first entry for trainer Todd Pletcher, this mare has won nine races from 15 career starts. She has only been off the board once. She was riding a six graded stakes race winning streak into her last race, the Ogden Phipps, but didn’t have her usual punch. She was an even third. Getting a little more ground should work in her favor. New jockey Ramon Dominguez is an “x” factor as we do not know how he will ride her. He figures to sit right behind the pace and get the first jump on Royal Delta. It will be a horse race once he starts to make his move on this girl.
#7 Love and Pride (A.P. Indy x Ille De France by Storm Cat) 10-1: Hard knocking filly got her first graded stakes win when she took them all the way last out in the Obeah Handicap. She owns a strong record of 4-3-0-1 at Delaware. Jeremy Rose will stay aboard.