The Fourth of July is an exciting day of racing in the US. Belmont Park takes centerstage on NBC later in the afternoon for the running of the Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap (Gr. 1). The Met Mile is the biggest purse on offer today with $500,000 up for grabs. After Belmont Park, Delaware Park in Wilmington is hosting the biggest races of the day. There are four stakes races, including the $300,000 Delaware Oaks (Gr. 3). The Kent Stakes (Gr. 3) is offering a fairly sizable purse of $125,000 as well. The card begins at Delaware Park in the early afternoon and concludes with Race 10 at approximately 6:00 p.m. EST. We have three straight bets on the racecard today at Delaware Park. Head below for our free Delaware Park selection for July 4, 2020.
Post Time: 3:15 p.m. EST
Distance: 1 Mile 70 Yards
This sure isn’t a stakes race, but the $16,000 event might be able to pay off for us. Race 5 will feature a mile and 70 yards of racing on the dirt. A duel may very well unfold between Don’t Fight and Premier Justice on Saturday. Premier Justice is 2 for 9 in her career and coming off a winning performance on May 13 at Tampa Bay Downs.
That was after dropping classes to a much more comfortable level. Premier Justice finished 4th, 9th, 6th after a win on December 7, 2019. John Rigattieri made the incorrect decision of bumping Premier Justice up in class following that win. This is an uptick in class, from $11,000 to $16,000, though Race 5 should be manageable for Premier Justice.
Don’t Fight is likely going to be the biggest buzz kill to Premier Justice on Saturday. Don’t Fight is 2 for 12 in her career and was on a strong run from February 28 to April 4 with three straight finishes in the top-2. He won on February 28 over Fashion Frame by 4 ¼ lengths for a $12,000 purse, and then placed 2nd behind Classy of Course by 3 ¼ lengths, before getting back into the winner’s circle in April. Don’t Fight won that outing over Elusive Aura by 1 ¾ lengths.
Like Premier Justice, Don’t Fight received a class bump, and it didn’t go as well. Don’t Fight finished 5th in her most recent performance on May 16. She made a decent 3-furlong workout on June 25 with a time of 38 seconds. This is a winnable race for her. Look for this one to come down to Premier Justice and Don’t Fight, with Don’t Fight ultimately winning a close contest in Race 5.
Race 8 – Delaware Oaks
Post Time: 4:45 p.m. EST
Distance:1 1/16 Miles
The marquee event at Delaware Park, the Delaware Oaks, is ready to open the gate on Saturday for this $300,000 Grade 3 event. You aren’t going to find a bigger race outside of Belmont Park than the Delaware Oaks. Like the race we just handicaped at Delaware, I’m expecting a close contest between two horses.
Comical and Piece of My Heart are both on my shortlist, as both horses are expected to run boldly in Race 10. Comical gets the inside rail out of the gate, as she seeks his first win since the Schuylerville Stakes (Gr. 3) on July 11, 2019. It’s been a while for Comical, but she has a couple of races worth nothing since then.
Comical ran 2nd in the Chandelier Stakes (Gr. 1) on September 27, 2019 for what I would argue has been the best form of his career. That was for a $300,000 purse as well. She finished 2nd behind heavy favorite Bast for a fairly strong run. Comical held the lead up to the ¾ pole, but Bast ultimately took over from there. In any event, it was something to build on for Comical. However, a 7th place performance in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (Gr. 1) dashed any hope of that happening.
Since that outing, Comical has finished 4th, 2nd, and 2nd most recently in the Gardenia Stakes for a $80,000 purse. She finished 1 ½ lengths behind Piece of My Heart, who was a winner in wire-to-wire fashion. Overall, Comical has gone 2 for 9 in her career. Her third win might be a revenge win over Piece of My Heart on Saturday for a much bigger purse than they ran for on May 1.
Piece of My Heart is coming off back-to-back wins and is seeking the hat-trick on Saturday. She won over Strong Flag by a length on April 10, and then followed it up with a wire-to-wire win against Comical in May. Note that Piece of My Heart has won 3 of her previous 4 outings. She has been in the top-3 in 6 of 8 career starts and 2nd in 5 of 8 outings. The door is open for another strong run by Piece of My Heart in the biggest race of her career on Saturday in the Delaware Oaks.
Race 9 – Kent Stakes
Post Time: 5:15 p.m. EST
Distance:1 ⅛ Miles
The final stakes race of the day at Delaware Park will be the running of the $125,000 Kent Stakes on the turf. It’s another Grade 3 event here at Delaware Park on Saturday. Gufo and Pixelate are a couple of intriguing choices, with Bye Bye Melvin a decent upset selection from the No. 4 post position. Bye Bye Melvin is 2 for 6 in his career for a fairly productive opening stretch to his career. However, he couldn’t handle a stakes event in his most recent appearance on March 7.
After winning back-to-back races on December 7, 2019 and January 8, Bye Bye Melvin faltered in the Tampa Bay Derby (Gr. 2). He finished 10th in a disappointing effort for Bye Bye Melvin. King Guillermore won that event in a massive upset which catapulted him into Kentucky Derby discussions. That was for a $400,000 purse, so this will undoubtedly be an easier outing for Bye Bye Melvin.
Pixelate is 2 for 9 in his career and boasts some consistency going into Saturday. He has finished in the top-3 in all nine races he’s been a part of. Six of which have been Black Type stakes races. He won the Central Park Stakes on December 6, 2019 over Homeland by a head. That was a $100,000 purse for Pixelate and rates as the best win of his career. After that win, Pixelate finished 3rd, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd in four Black Type races. You have to like the consistency with Pixelate and one must assume that he will be knocking on the door once again today.
Gufo is 3 for 4 in his career and enters Saturday with three straight wins. He is coming off a win in the English Channel Stakes (Black Type) on May 2. Gufo picked up his third straight victory over Proven Strategies by 1 ½ lengths. He was 10th at the ½ pole, 6th at the top of the stretch, and then flew down the stretch to get a relatively comfortable win, while everyone else weakened. 1 ⅛ miles should not bother Gufo at all in this one. Gufo looked strong in the morning on June 26, with a time of 48.75 seconds at 4 furlongs. He is a major threat to all in the Kent Stakes.