Frivolous, Sheer Drama meet again at Delaware
The Grade 1, $750,000 Delaware Handicap, for fillies and mares at 1 1/4 miles on Saturday, drew a field of seven. Favoritism likely will go to Sheer Drama, Frivolous, or Rosalind.
Delaware Park also has carded the Grade 3, $200,000 Kent Stakes, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for 3-year-olds, and two $50,000 stakes, the Hockessin and the Carl Hanford.
Frivolous upset Sheer Drama at 32-1 on June 13 in the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis Handicap at Churchill Downs. Sheer Drama, the 17-10 favorite in that race, carried 120 pounds, four more than Frivolous. On Saturday, both will carry 118.
Sheer Drama, trained by David Fawkes, has finished second in four of her last five starts, all in stakes company. She won the Grade 2 Royal Delta by 6 1/2 lengths at Gulfstream Park in March.
Frivolous raced on the pace throughout the Fleur de Lis and held off Sheer Drama by 1 1/2 lengths. The Fleur de Lis was her second stakes win. She won the Grade 2 Falls City for trainer Victoria Oliver at Churchill last November.
Rosalind is the only Grade 1 winner in the field, having won the Ashland Stakes over Polytrack at Keeneland in April 2014. Trainer Chad Brown switched her from turf to dirt for the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps on Belmont Stakes Day, and she finished fourth to Wedding Toast.
Rosalind was entered in last weekend’s Grade 3 Robert G. Dick Memorial on turf at Delaware but was scratched in favor of this spot.
Sheer Drama will break from post 5 under Joe Bravo. Frivolous has post 1, with Jon Court named to ride. Rosalind has post 6 and Joel Rosario.
Also entered are Joint Return, a late-charging fourth in the Obeah at Delaware on June 20; Fortune Pearl, the fourth-place finisher in the Obeah; America, who was fifth in the Fleur de Lis; and Flashy American, who was second in the Iowa Distaff at Prairie Meadows on June 26.
The Kent Stakes has been moved from its usual September spot on the calendar this year. The race has attracted a field of eight, with favoritism possibly going to Syntax or All Ikarabout, the one-two finishers in a recent first-level Belmont allowance race, or Chief Kitten or Money Multiplier, both of whom are trained by Brown.
The six-furlong Hockessin features Fast Anna, Stallwalkin’ Dude, and Bourbon Courage. The Hanford, at a mile and 70 yards, has attracted Normandy Invasion, Page Mckenney, and Micromanage.
Del Mar: Eddie Read Stakes
Midnight Storm returns to the scene of his greatest triumph when he heads a field of seven in the $400,000 Eddie Read Stakes on Saturday at Del
Mar. The Eddie Read, at 1 1/8 miles on turf, is the championship race of the meeting for older grass runners. It is the first Grade 1 race of the meet and goes as race 4 on a 10-race card.
Midnight Storm was a frontrunning winner of the Del Mar Derby last summer, after which he went to the sidelines. Since returning this year, he won an allowance race at Santa Anita before suffering a tough loss to Talco in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile last time out June 13 at Santa Anita.
Gabriel Charles, third last time out in the American Stakes, will be charging late, and his cause could be aided by the presence of Big Cazanova, who has enough early speed to make life complicated for Midnight Storm. Big Cazanova set a hot pace before fading to fifth last time out in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita.
Others in the race include Finnegans Wake, Maltes, Power Ped, and Twentytwentyvision. Bronzo was expected to enter the race but was forced to skip it because of a minor injury.
Indiana Grand: Mr. Z in Derby
Mr. Z became something of a punch line this spring, a glaring emblem of trainer D. Wayne Lukas’s relentless quest for Triple Crown glory, but after a 15-length drubbing in the Kentucky Derby and a 17-length thrashing in the Preakness, it was Mr. Z and Lukas who had the last laugh when Mr. Z scored a hard-fought win in the $500,000 Ohio Derby on June 20.
So, while Mr. Z surely was not a horse for the Kentucky Derby this year, he fits just fine in second-level derbies like the Grade 2, $500,000 Indiana Derby, for which he drew post 1 when entries for the race were taken Wednesday.
Mr. Z, with Joe Bravo named to ride, is one of eight in the Indiana Derby, along with Divining Rod, Tiz Shea D, Alabaster, Bold Conquest, Island Town, Far Right, and Deliverance Day.
Mr. Z was installed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite over 5-2 Divining Rod, who finished third, narrowly beaten by Mr. Z, in the Ohio Derby. Island Town, the winner of the Matt Winn Stakes last out at Churchill, is listed as the 3-1 third choice.
Also on the Saturday card, first post 6:05 p.m. Eastern, is the Grade 2, $200,000 Indiana Oaks, which drew a competitive field of 11 fillies. There are four other six-figure stakes on the card, with post time for the local derby set for 9:41.
Arlington: Hogy in Hanshin Cup
Hogy finished 13th as the favorite in the 2014 Hanshin Cup but won the Hanshin in 2013, comes off a sharp allow-
Ellis: Good Lord seeks 4-peat
Good Lord will be trying for a rare achievement Saturday as one of seven older horses in the $50,000 Don Bernhardt at Ellis. Trained by Forrest Kaelin, Good Lord has won the 6 1/2-furlong Bernhardt the last three years. He will break from post 4 and be ridden by Miguel Mena.
Good Lord, an 8-year-old Florida-bred by Greatness, has 14 wins from 70 career starts. He was sixth in the 2011 Bernhardt before winning it every year from 2012 to 2014.
The Bernhardt is the second of four stakes at the 31-day Ellis meet. The annual highlight, the Grade 3 Groupie Doll, is set for Aug. 8.
Sheer Drama gets her first graded stakes win March 21 in the Grade 2 Royal Delta at Gulfstream.
Mr. Z (middle) beats Tencendur by a nose in the Ohio Derby.