Keeneland in Lexington isn’t the only racetrack in the US with big races on the card. The Blue Grass Stakes is by far the most prestigious of the day, but Delaware Park is putting on a pretty nice racecard as well. The running of the $400,000 Delaware Handicap (Gr. 2) is on the schedule at Delaware Park in Wilmington today. The Robert G. Dick Memorial Stakes will also be on the racecard at Delaware Park. That event will feature a $125,000 purse. Between ten races at Delaware Park on Saturday, there is a total of $848,000 available in Wilmington on Saturday.
We have you covered for both races, along with a bevy of stakes races at Keeneland today. The Road to the Kentucky Derby has never felt longer than in 2020. Bob Baffert just wants Derby Day to get here already. He has been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons recently. With Charlatan testing positive for lidocaine, it’s recently been brought to our attention that Gamine also tested positive from a sample taken in May during an allowance race.
This is the same filly that smashed a track record in the Acorn Stakes by 18 ¾ lengths at Belmont Park on June 20. With no Triple Crown to speak of in 2020 for Baffert, the only thing that will cheer Baffert up will likely be a Cezanne win in the Kentucky Derby. There’s just under two months to go until the Kentucky Derby, with plenty of prep races on the schedule still. No prep racing at Delaware Park today, but it is still a big day. Head below for our free Delaware Handicap pick and Delaware Park selection for July 11, 2020.
Race 7 – Robert G. Dick Memorial Stakes
Post Time: 4:15 p.m. EST
Distance: 1 ⅜ Miles
We will jump straight to the Robert G. Dick Memorial Stakes on Saturday. Race 7 will feature 1 ⅜ miles for a sizable purse of $125,000. Mrs. Sippy and Gentle Ruler are expected to be big performers in the event. Mrs. Sippy draws the inside rail out of the gate at the No. 1 post position.
After nine races overseas to begin her career, Mrs. Sippy has made appearances in the Glen Falls Stakes (Gr. 2), Flower Bowl Stakes (Gr. 1), and Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (Gr. 1). She won the $250,000 Glen Falls Stakes on August 31, 2019, but then fell short in the Flower Bowl Stakes on October 6, 2019 by ¾ lengths against Sistercharlie. That race was for $500,000, so it was nevertheless a strong effort.
Mrs. Sippy is coming off a layoff after a sloppy run on November 2, 2019 in that Breeders’ Cup event. She finished 9th and was absolutely a non-factor in that $2 million dollar race. Mrs. Sippy is down in class today and should have a decent chance of getting the win here. She completed a recent 5-furlong workout with a time of 1:02.80. I’d like to see something better than to feel confident in her, though.
If we get the Glen Falls Stakes and Flower Bowl Stakes Mrs. Sippy then a win is going to be well within reach. However, there is no guarantee that we see the same horse, and Mrs. Sippy form in her last entry wasn’t too encouraging. Trying to ascertain what kind of form Mrs. Sippy is going to be in is essentially what will tell you who wins. We do know that Gentle Ruler is in excellent form going into Saturday.
Gentle Ruler has won 7 of her previous 9 races. She went on a lengthy four-race winning streak from April 24, 2019 to July 6, 2019, which was capped off with a win in the 2019 version of this race. Gentle Ruler is defending her crown on Saturday after beating Theodora B. by 2 ¾ lengths. Since that win, Gentle Ruler has gone 4th, 1st, 1st, 2nd, 1st.
She won two stakes races, and came close for 2nd in the Orchid Stakes (Gr. 3) on March 28. Gentle Ruler came a length away from winning that event. She is coming off a win on June 6 at Churchill Downs over Romantic Purist by a head. Gentle Ruler was determined to get the win and showed terrific kick in the stretch. It should be close with Mrs. Sippy at the wire. I give Gentle Ruler the slight edge based on recent form.
Race 8 – Delaware Handicap
Post Time: 4:45 p.m. EST
Distance:1 ⅛ Miles
The Delaware Handicap (Gr. 2) is the main course at Delaware Park on Saturday. The feature event comes with a $400,000 purse. It will take place on the dirt over 1 ⅛ miles of racing. It’s an eight-horse field, with the potential to get cut to six horses.
Always Shopping and Vexatious may get scratched in the Delaware Handicap, so keep that in mind when locking in your bets. I kind of liked Always Shopping as a minor upset candidate, but with her possible out of the way, it could be a moot point. Dunbar Road and Bellera should be the most likely runners to be close at the wire.
Bellera is 4 for 7 in her career with wins in the $200,000 Comely Stakes (Gr. 3) and $100,000 Ladies Handicap (Black Type) her biggest wins to date. She was a winning runner by 1 ¾ lengths over Arrifana on November 29, 2019 to get the Comely Stakes at Aqueduct. Since then, Bellera has finished 1st, 3rd, 7th.
She finished 3rd in the $100,000 Musical Romance Stakes (Black Type) and then most recently 7th in the $100,000 Ginger Punch Stakes (Black Type) on June 6. That’s not exactly what her connections wanted to see out of Bellera in the lead up to the Delaware Handicap. Now, she’s up in class and needs to regain her form from earlier in the year.
Bellera recently completed 4-furlong workouts in the morning with times of 49.96 and 49.47 seconds. One would believe that Bellera doesn’t have what it takes to keep up here, but it isn’t the most difficult field despite the $400,000 purse. Bellera will have to be really good, though perfection won’t necessarily be required for a win.
Dunbar Road is going to be one heck of a challenger, though. I was on Dunbar Road in the Shawnee Stakes (Black Type) on May 23 at Churchill Downs. That is a day that won’t be forgotten soon, as Dunbar Road helped us bring home the Pick 5. Dunbar Road won by 1 ¾ lengths over Chocolate Kisses to show great form in the stretch. She went from 5th at the ¾ pole to 1st rather quickly.
This filly is 5 for 8 in her career with wins in the Alabama Stakes (Gr. 1) and Mother Goose Stakes (Gr. 2) as well. Prior to the Shawnee Stakes win, Dunbar Road finished 5th in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Bad run? No not really, that was a really hard field and Dunbar Road beat six other runners. You can play our two picks at Delaware Park as straight wagers or on a daily double ticket if you wish. We’re going with Gentle Ruler and then Dunbar Road at Delaware Park on Saturday.