|Delaware (DE) Saturday, May 23, 2020 — 2:30:00 PM EST | Race ID : 2355821|
|New Hampshire Handicap|
|Grade II / Group 2*CPU – Purse : $375,000|
|Restricted to 3 Year Olds and Older|
|9 Furlongs | ~1800 Meters | One Mile and and One Eighth||Fast Dirt|
This week we are headed to Delaware for the running of the G2, New Hampshire Handicap where we find a very closely matched field for this years running. The odds makers had to make some tough choices this year and their spread in the field only ranges for 5/1 to 14/1, making this a very hard field of horses of which to pick winners by those headed to the betting windows. The field in this race is restricted to 3 Year Old and Older horses. It appears they all range in age from 4 years old up to 6 year old horses with no fillies or mares entered to take on the boys. The track has been listed to be Fast Dirt come race time and the horses have been putting in their final works. I took a trip through the barns and there was a little tension in the air as the owners, trainers and jockeys make their final preparations. The odds and post positions have been set, so why don’t we take a quick preview of the field that will be running here in Delaware in the G2, New Hampshire Handicap.
Post Position: 1
Horse/Odds: Divergent Streams 12/1
Sire: War Front
Jockey: J Dawg
There have been many chances to own this six year old Light Grey Gelding as he has ran in several prior Claiming races. But he made his way back up the ladder to run in some successful outings recently in some Allowance races. He keeps getting close to that trip to the winners circle as of recent, but has not found his picture taken since December 2018 when he won a 9 furlong Claimer. He last hit the track on 04/02/2020 going 8.5 furlongs in Ontario in a $29,200 NW1y Allowance of which he attempted to go gate to wire, but was caught in the stretch for home and held on for a second place finish. He is taking a big jump in Class today for his owner, and jockey, J Dawg from Wyoming will have his hands full as he tries to keep this horse in contention as they come out of their favorable gate draw. They will be heading out at post time representing the Northwest Racing Circuit.
Post Position: 2
Horse/Odds: The Gone World 11/1
Sire: Kitten’s Joy
Jockey: A Kelly
This four year old Light Grey Colt has found success in the past on both the turf and dirt surfaces. His outings this season he has continued to run on the dirt as he will be doing in this race on Saturday. He is coming off a nice last outing of which he picked up a win in the G2, Bertrando Handicap on 03/28/2020 in Turkey. He traveled a distance of 9 furlongs in that race and came from way back to close up shop when he took control in the stretch picking up the win by 1 ¼ lengths with a 116 speed rating for his efforts. His owner places the call to jockey, A Kelly from New Jersey who will come take to the saddle to ride up top in this race. This first time pairing will be headed out to the second gate in the post parade as they represent the Blazing Saddles residency.
Post Position: 3
Horse/Odds: Big Bank 9/1
Sire: Union Rags
Jockey: E Seifert
This four year old Brown Gelding has been itching to get his first Graded win, but it continues to elude him in his efforts. He is hungry to find the winners circle after his Graded Placing in his last trip to the track. That came on 04/19/2020 in Nebraska in the G3, Fus Gonner Handicap where he traveled 8.5 furlongs with a nice closing effort and a 113 speed rating that was good enough to catch the wire third. This horse has been running consistently with some nice triple digit speeds in the past and he will need to find one of those good runs here in Delaware to contend. The owners makes the call to Argentina to find jockey, E Seifert available to take the ride in this 9 furlong outing. In his best performances this horse likes to close late from the second or third group, and that is where I would expect to see him in this race on Saturday when they head out to their post to represent the Blazing Saddles residency.
Post Position: 4
Horse/Odds: Gun Inspector 7/1
Sire: Scratch Bred (GUN RUNNER x MR. PROSPECTOR x NIJINSKY 2ND)
Jockey: G Skaggs
This four year old Bay Scratch Bred Gelding will be seeking to find his first trip to the winners circle in a Graded outing this Saturday. He has only one Graded trip in his career of seventeen races, and that came in his last outing on 04/11/2020 when he showed up a contender in the G1, Charles Town Classic. He ran a very nice race in his Graded début, when he got up for a third place finish in that race with a 114 speed rating. This will be a step down in Class for him here in Delaware of which he might find in his favor when he and jockey, G Skaggs from Massachusetts set out together. This horse in his best outing likes to run at or near the front, but has also been known to close late and thus we will have to wait and see how the jockey will ride him in this 9 furlong trip around the dirt. Horse and jockey will head out of the fourth hole at post time when they break from the gate representing the East-West Connection residency.
Post Position: 5
Horse/Odds: Thaddeus Stevens 5/1
Sire: Empire Maker
Jockey: Z Wylde
This six year old Bay Horse and son of Empire Maker has had success running in Listed Stakes and Residency Restricted Listed Stakes events in the past. He only has one trip in a Graded event of which took place early on in his career and found to be unsuccessful. This horse has the ability to put up some good speed ratings when he cares to do so and thus gets the wink from the odds makers in their morning line to head out as the favorite at 5/1 odds in this race. He likes to turn on the heat at about the third call in his most successful trips as he did on 04/17/2020 when he went 9.5 furlongs in New Jersey in the Listed Stakes, Bird Penguin Dirt Route. He fired with a 116 speed rating that day to close up shop with a two length win. Jockey, Z Wylde who is a local jockey here in Delaware will get the call to ride in the saddle for this trip on Saturday. This jockey will need to keep his horse’s mind focused in this race as he takes this jump in Class to compete. They will be headed out at post time representing the Universal Racing Club.
Post Position: 6
Horse/Odds: Glory To God 14/1
Sire: War Front
Jockey: H Ross
This four year old Bay Colt sired by War Front is out of EOY Award Winning mare, Deadmoney Cadet. The odds makers maybe impressed with the breeding but they showed no love in their morning line when they chose to make this colt their longest choice in the field. This horse has shown that he can travel the 9 furlong distance in the past as he did back in Florida in February when he picked up a gate to wire win at the distance. This Listed Stakes winning colt has had a couple of unsuccessful Graded starts in the past and he is going to take a step back up here in Delaware and see if he can make his mark as a contender in this field. His owner has contracted the services of jockey, H Ross who is a seasoned veteran jockey here in Delaware to take to the irons on Saturday. This pairing will saddle up in the paddock and head out to their post representing the South Africa Racing Association.
Post Position: 7
Horse/Odds: Johnny’s In Charge 11/1
Sire: Scratch Bred (WILL TAKE CHARGE x SEEKING THE GOLD x STAGE DOOR JOHNNY)
Jockey: P Haynes
This six year old Light Grey Horse is a prior Listed Stakes winner and will be headed back up in Class to face a Grade field. He has had several prior attempts running at the Graded levels, but all ended in disappointment. He will show up on Saturday to try and overcome this and find the boards in the outing. He last ran on 04/10/2020 when he hit the track for the first time this season in New York going 8 furlongs in a $67,500 NW5L Allowance. He ran fairly flat and failed to fire in that race as he lingered across the wire back in eighth. He will need to find that old spark in his hoofs to contend, and he will have the services of jockey, P Haynes from New Jersey to come help him in that effort. They will be heading out at post time here in Delaware representing the DelPenn National residency.
Post Position: 8
Horse/Odds: Sneaky Spirit LV 7/1
Sire: Scratch Bred (GHOSTZAPPER x HALO x GRAUSTARK)
Jockey: B Scott
This four year old Roan Gelding is the other prior G2 winner in this group will be heading out in this race come Saturday to try and find another trip to the boards. This horse has been running a tough schedule of races at the Graded level since February of last year and picked up his G2 badge in July when he traveled 9 furlongs in California in the G2, Swamps Stakes. He can throw some nice speed ratings and with his experience he has to be viewed as one of the contenders to watch in this field. However, he did stumble in his last outing on 04/11/2020 when he ran in the G1, Charles Town Classic in Pennsylvania, when he failed to fire and finished in seventh place more than six lengths back. Jockey, B Scott from Massachusetts rode this horse when he picked up his G2 badge in California last year and his owner makes the call to secure the services of this familiar jockey to ride again up top here in Delaware. This pairing will head out to their post draw representing the Only Stayers residency.
Post Position: 9
Horse/Odds: Stormy Bob 7/1
Jockey: P Wright
This five year old Light Grey Horse has been kicking it since May of last year and has not missed the boards in his races since that time. He has yet to win a Stakes race and will be dipping his legs into Graded territory for the first time here on Saturday. He has been impressive at the Allowance level, but can he gracefully take this jump in Class will be the question that needs to be answered in this race. He is coming off a win and last ran on 04/17/2020 in West Virginia going 9 furlongs in a $54,000 NW6L Allowance. He stalked just off the lead and make his closing run in the stretch to get up for a three length win. This horse likes to travel just off the lead or on the lead and will get the service of jockey, P Wright from Arizona to help him find his spot when they head out of the gate to represent GR Simsters residency.
Post Position: 10
Horse/Odds: Fusaichi Awesome 11/1
Sire: Scratch Bred (TIZNOW x FUSAICHI PEGASUS x AWESOME AGAIN)
Jockey: L Hand
This five year old Roan Horse has not found his way to a Stakes win and has only one Graded outing attempt in his recent past. This ended in disappointment for his owner with running in the G3, The Corvette of which he crossed the wire in eighth. He takes this opportunity to jump back up in Class to contend in this field to prove himself ready to compete in this company of nice horses. His last outing was on 04/27/2020 when he ran in a Hot Race at 9 furlongs in Kentucky of which he won with a 108 speed rating. This horses top speed rating is a 115 and he is going to have to dig deep and find that speed again here in Delaware. He will have the services of jockey, L Hand who is a local jockey here in Delaware who will be picking up the mount. They will be heading out in the post parade representing the Universal Racing Club at post time.
Post Position: 11
Horse/Odds: Major Wells 8/1
Sire: Scratch Bred (DAIWA MAJOR x SADLER’S WELLS x MR. PROSPECTOR)
Jockey: V Jennings
This five year old Bay Horse is a GP badge earner and he found that accolade in his last trip to the track. He ran in Turkey on 03/28/2020 going 9 furlongs in the G2, Bertrando Handicap. He had a good closing effort and ran a 115 speed rating that day which was good enough for second in that race and lost to The Gone World, an advisory of which he will again face here on Saturday. This horse has had a good start to his 2020 season and looks to continue to find the boards here again in this race. Jockey, V Jennings from Arkansas gets the call from this owner to fly in and take to the saddle with his horse in this outing. With a trick or two up his sleeve, this jockey may very well get his horse to be a top contender in this race when they head out to their post to the cheers of a roaring crowd.
Post Position: 12
Horse/Odds: Huntsilver 6/1
Jockey: R Bokie
This five year old Roan Horse has drawn the outside gate today but I do not find that to be too big of an issue for this horse due to his normal running style. He is a GP badge earner and found that back in May of last year when he ran in the G3, Pefectionistic Handicap in Colorado. His two most recent outings have been in Restricted Listed Stakes races, the URC Dubai World Cup where he came in third and the URC Pegasus Word Cup of which he picked up a win with a 116 speed rating at 9 furlongs. He is coming out to get his feet wet again in this Graded event and will get the services of jockey, R Bokie from Virginia to come drive this horse to a contending position against this field, and try to find a place on the boards. They will be heading out to their gate on Saturday to represent the Universal Racing Club residency.
Good luck to all owners and horses!
Skippy’s Watch List
2-The Gone World: Coming off a G2 win with a nice 116 speed rating should catch your eye.
11-Major Wells: Was second behind The Gone World in his last trip to the track.
8-Sneaky Spirit LV: Comes in with lots of Graded experience and takes a drop in Class.
Tarton’s Long Shot
3-Big Bank: I am not going very deep with this 9/1 choice, but I feel a good one to place on a few exotic tickets. He is coming off a G3 trip to the boards and could be worth a look in this race at this price.