Spectators Permitted As Delaware Park Opens With Obeah Stakes On Wednesday - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Spectators Permitted As Delaware Park Opens With Obeah Stakes On Wednesday

Trainer Arnaud Delacour

The 83rd season of live racing at Delaware Park is set to open this Wednesday with spectators and enhanced safety protocols, including enforced social distancing. More information on the safety protocols will be released at www.delawarepark.com on Monday.

The $100,000 Obeah Stakes highlights the ten race card.

Mark P. Grier's Gotham Gala will be seeking a repeat victory in the race when she faces 11 rivals in the local prep for the filly and mare summer classic – the Grade 2 Delaware Handicap slated for Saturday, July 11.

Gotham Gala will be making her 2020 debut in the race named in honor of the two-time Delaware Handicap winner in 1969 and 1970 and the dam of the Hall of Fame filly Go for Wand who was locally owned by Jane and Harry duPont's Christiana Stable.

“She is doing really well,” said trainer Arnaud Delacour.  “Last year, she needed a race to really get going, but she really looks good and I think she is ready, so I am expecting a big effort from her.”

Last year, Gotham Gala posted a 3 ¼-length victory in the Obeah Stakes before finishing fourth in the Delaware Handicap.  The 5-year-old daughter of Smart Strike followed with a one mile allowance victory at Keeneland before closing her 2019 campaign with a fourth in the G3 Turnback the Alarm Stakes at Aqueduct on November 2.  The Kentucky-bred has a career record of four wins, a second and two thirds from 12 starts with earnings of $262,290.

Delacour has also entered Denlea Park and Mark Spellman's Fashion Faux Pas.  In her only outing this year, the 4-year-old daughter of Flatter was unplaced in a mile allowance at Churchill Downs over a sloppy course on May 16.  Last year, the Kentucky-bred won the Light Hearted Stakes by 14 ½-lengths at Delaware Park and then followed with a second in the G3 Delaware Oaks.  She closed her 2019 campaign with a pair of unplaced efforts in stakes.  Her career record is three wins, two seconds and a third from 11 starts with earnings of $177,817.

“She is doing great,” said Delacour.  “I am very happy with her.  She had a really good breeze on Friday. She is ready and she likes the course at Delaware Park.  I know her recent form has been so-so, but I think she is ready to redeem herself.  I am expecting strong efforts from both of my girls on Wednesday.”

The filly to beat is Phoenix Thoroughbred and KatieRich Stables' Lady Apple.  In her most recent, the 4-year-old daughter of Curlin finished eighth in the G1 Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park on April 18.  Previously, the Kentucky-bred trained by Steve Asmussen finished fifth in the G2 Azeri at Oaklawn on March 14.  In her only other outing this year, she won the G3 Houston Lady Classic at Sam Houston on January 26.  Last year, she won three G3 stakes – the Remington Oaks, the Iowa Oaks, and the Fantasy Stakes – and finished third in the G1 Kentucky Oaks.  She has a career record of six wins, two seconds, and a third from 14 starts with earnings of $1,001,984.

Since the Obeah Stakes was inaugurated in 1996, only the 2006 older female champion Fleet Indian and I'm a Chatterbox, who won the race in 2016, have won the race and followed with a victory in the Delaware Handicap. Two fillies have finished second in the Obeah and won the Delaware Handicap.  They were Unbridled Belle in 2007 and Power Play in 1997.  Three winners of the Obeah Stakes have followed by running second in the Delaware Handicap.  They were 2011 Horse of the Year Havre de Grace, Your Out in 2002 and Under the Rug in 2001.

Live racing will be conducted through October 17th.  Racing is scheduled three days a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Thursdays will be added July 16th and continue through October 1st.  First race daily post time is set for 1:15 p.m.

$100,000 Obeah Stakes

For  fillies and mares at a mile and sixteenth

1 Bronx Beauty 2WStables Anthony Margotta Jr Isacc Castillo 120 15-1
2 Wicked Awesome Warwick Stable A Ferris Allen Frankie Pennington 120 12-1
3 Trolley Ride James Eshleman T. Bernard Houghton Inoel Beato 120 15-1
4 Lady Apple Phoenix Thoroughbred Steven Asmussen Ricardo Santana Jr 124 7/2
5 Gotham Gala Mark P Grier Arnaud Delacour Trevor McCarthy 120 5-1
6 Ujjayi TL Wise Erin McClellan Tyler Conner 120 15-1
7 Vault Kueber Racing Brad Cox Florent Geroux 120 6-1
8 Fashion Faux Pas Denlea Park Arnaud Delacour Daniel Centeno 120 8-1
9 Afleet Destiny Trin-Brook Stables Uriah St Lewis Anthony Salgado 120 20-1
10 Lucky Move Ten Strike Stable Juan Carlos Guerrero Roberto Rosado 120 8-1
11 Motion Emotion Abbondanza Racing Richard Bilas Carol Cedeno 120 5-1
12 Trace of Grace WMT Stable T. Bernard Houghton TBD 120 20-1


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