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July 4th Stakes Weekend/Delaware Park
Bob Magness Derby G2 and the Cre-Run Oaks G2 highlight a weekend of stakes races at Delaware Park. along with the Grade 3 Betsy Ross and Liberty Bell Stakes.
article by Stephanie Corum/Photos by Gicewicz
BETSY ROSS STAKES (G3)
A fine looking group of nine 3-year-old fillies went postward in Delaware Park’s first stakes of the season for juveniles. They were led by Dixies Valentine, Bill Waldron’s latest homebred out of his superstar broodmare, Dixie Darlene. The slight chestnut filly has been extremely impressive in her first 2 races – both wins.
The start was good for all fillies, and while Dixies Valentine broke third, she made the lead shortly thereafter. At the quarter pole she was 4 lengths in front. After a half-mile it was seven lengths, and in the stretch she increased her advantage to twelve. Her smooth running style simply outclassed the rest of the field, but there was a competitive race going on behind her. Strand Racing’s Later Ala Gatour made a middle move through the turn and took second from a weakening Qweenofhearts. Areethmatik, owned by Ted and Chery Wright, closed ground in deep stretch. As Joseph Rocco Jr. and Dixies Valentine crossed the wire an easy 12 lengths in front, Later Ala Gatour held steady for second followed by Areethmatik, who just got her neck in front of Qweenofhearts at the wire. They were followed by Sabka, Profilin, Leah Hope, Alanilluision and Finest Our. The final time for the six furlongs was 1:20.42.
Dixies Valentine has now won all 3 starts by a combined 35 lengths and has earned almost $26,000. She is by Nivour De Cardonne, who sired Bill Waldron’s Our Machine, last year’s 3-Year-Old Darley Champion. Her dam is Dixie Darlene, champion and Racing Hall of Fame member with over $281,000 in earnings. She may be even better in the breeding shed. Already she has produced champions Dixies Delight and Dixie Dance. If their little sister keeps running the way she does, Dixies Valentine may be the next champion for her famous mother.
CRE-RUN OAKS (DISTAFF (G2)
Although no filly would be sweeping the Triple Crown this year, the Cre Run Oaks (G2) still featured Coast To Coast Racing’s Stars The Limit, winner of the Daughters of the Desert Oaks (G1) and Abra Caadabra, owned by Mark Powell, who was second in the Daughters and third in the Texas Yellow Rose (G3).
The scratch of Toppoftheclass left a short field of 5 for the 1 1/16 mile contest. Dreamm Lover broke on top, but was joined on the lead by Stars The Limit. Abra Caadabra settled nicely into third followed by AF Sassey Dreams and Ruby Earrings. The top two continued to dual through the opening half-mile while Mauricio Rodriguez remained patient aboard Abra Caadabra. When Dreamm Lover began to tire from her early efforts, Stars The Limit got the lead while Abra Caadabra moved through on the inside to take over second. Ruby Earrings, who was void of early speed, lodged a belated bid. Abra Caadabra then angled to the outside and simply ran by Stars The Limit. She drew off late under steady pressure and crossed the line 6 lengths in front of Stars The Limit who was another length in front of Tom Fritz’s Ruby Earrings. AF Sassey Dreams and Dreamm Lover completed the field. The final time was 2:00.95.
Mario Serey trains the attractive grey filly, who had already raced nine times in 2008 prior to the Cre Run Oaks (G2). She is by leading sire Burning Sand, who every year turns out another group of top competitors. The filly is the second foal out of Caarabine CS, by Aneto. Bred by French Performance Arabians LLC, Abra Caadabra’s lifetime record is now 2/26(7-6-4)3-3, $93,139.
BOB MAGNESS DERBY (G2) (3rd leg Arabian Triple Crown)
Remarkable Man was going for two out of three in the Triple Crown, having taken the Texas Six Shooter (G2) earlier in the year (in which he also happened to break his maiden). But the role of favorite went to Arnold Bardin’s So Big Is Better, who had been running well at Delaware Park. There was a large field of eleven taking a chance in the 1-¼ mile race, and Remarkable Man had the unenviable position of breaking from the 1 hole.
So Big Is Better broke cleanly and sprinted to the lead. Right on his flank was Darley Champion Our Machine. These two set a solid pace, particularly for the distance, while Remarkable Man settled on the rail. Going down the backside, the top six, So Big Is Better, Our Machine, Johnny B Goode, Remarkable Man, Frysk Me Now and Cool Sand Luke were well bunched. After ¾ of a mile, Our Machine stopped and retreated quickly. That allowed Johnny B Goode to move into second with Remarkable Man hemmed in on the inside in third. It was beginning to look as if Remarkable Man would not be able to shake free, but in the final turn, jockey Buddy Winnett, Jr. got him off the rail and he closed ground. So Big Is Better was not willing to give up the lead so easily and while Remarkable Man tried to close the gap, the nearly white leader held him at bay. It wasn’t until the wire was approaching that Remarkable Man finally edged into the lead. The Lynnett Hershbell trainee finished a tough 1-½ lengths in front of So Big Is Better, with Ken and Nancy Blewett’s Johnny B Goode in third. He ran the race in 2:23.16. Must Be Burning, Cool Sand Luke, Intryge, Crownn Royal, Robotic, Frysk Me Now, Treasure Seeker and Our Machine rounded out the field.
Bred in Texas by Mandolynn Hill Farm, Remarkable Man is by Chndaka, who stands at their farm. He had previously sired classic winning fillies Love Me Dew and Orgia Fata. Remarkable Man is bred similarly to Orgia Fata, a Polish Triple Crown winner. He is out of No Ordynary Gal (by Monarch AH) who is a granddaughter of the great Orgia. Similarly, Orgia Fata is out of HF Orzonna, a Monarch AH – Orgia cross. Remarkable Man has now won 3 of 6 starts, including 2 stakes, and has earned over $54,000.
LIBERTY BELL STAKES (G3)
Oakcrest Farms LLC’s Theoretically was impressive in his only previous start, a maiden victory, so he went off as the heavy favorite in the $21,700 Liberty Bell S. for 3 year-olds. From the start, Sand De Wind was rushed to the front. For the first half mile, he held the rail with Sey Proofs Triage on the outside and Travelen Soldier in between horses. Meanwhile, Theoretically settled towards the back in fifth. Going through the turn, Theoretically kicked into gear and powered by the field. By the time they straightened out into the stretch, he had the lead. Nivourgonnatouchthis, owned by Sandra Mihaloff, and Status Symboll, owned by Dianne Waldron, both moved past the tiring pace setters and the battle was for the place spot. Theoretically with Irwin Rosendo aboard had pulled away from the field. They crossed the wire 5 ½ lengths in front in a time of 1:23.13. Racing on the inside, Nivourgonnatouchthis gained second with Status Symboll third. Sand De Wind, Travelen Soldier, Sey Proofs Triage and Chanses followed.
Theoretically was bred by Leslie Gicewicz of Oakcrest Farms LLC. He is the first stakes winner for Doran SBFAR, a multiple graded stakes winner whose first full crop are 3-year-olds this year. “Theo” is the first foal out of the winning mare First Ladie (by Monarch AH), who is a full sister to Royale Fanfare, a grade 1 stakes winner of over $168,000. He is now 2-for-2 under trainer Lynn Ashby with earnings of $18,600.