Friv­o­lous, Sheer Drama meet again at Delaware

Daily Racing Form Saturday Stakes Preview - - FRONT PAGE - – Jim Dun­leavy

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.

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