Delaware Park is the site for the Grade I, 750,000 Delaware Handicap this Saturday; a compact field of six fillies and mares has assembled for this mile-and-a-quarter test. Going as Race 9, post time for the crown jewel of the Delaware Park meeting is scheduled for 5:15 p.m. EST. Be sure to get involved in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
#4 I’M A CHATTERBOX was installed as the 6-5 morning-line favorite, though her odds may be lower than that at post time. I’M A CHATTERBOX is coming off a convincing 8-length win in the Obeah Stakes, the local prep for the Delaware Handicap. She also has something that no one else in this field has; a Grade I win (the Cotillion at Parx last September). In fact, only two other horses have even one graded stakes victory to their credit (#1 PAID UP SUBSCRIBER and #6 PENWITH) while I’M A CHATTERBOX has three graded stakes wins in total, so she stands out as the class of the field. She is also not lacking in the speed figure department, and has arguably the best rider in the field aboard in Florent Geroux. I’M A CHATTERBOX also has experience at the rigorous mile-and-a-quarter distance; she was a game runner-up in the Grade I Alabama Stakes at Saratoga last summer despite a six-wide trip.
PAID UP SUBSCRIBER (2-1) is the only true threat to I’M A CHATTERBOX in this field. She comes in off two straight scores, with her last occurring in the Grade II Fleur de Lis at Churchill Downs. She has solid connections in her corner (Ricardo Santana Jr. riding for Al Stall), and drilled a bullet in her final work for this.
#2 MONEY’SONCHARLOTTE (15-1) intrigues at a big price, at least in an underneath slot. She hinted at potential at two, then was either overmatched or unlucky in nearly all her starts at three. Her comeback race at Aqueduct was bad, but she may have needed one to shake off the rust. MONEY’SONCHARLOTTE exits a solid confidence-booster at Monmouth and has been training sensationally for Kelly Breen. She’ll get in light under these handicap conditions as Delaware regular Carol Cedeno takes the reins.
Finally, I’m taking a stand against fringe contenders #5 MEI LING and PENWITH, mainly due to their outside posts. Stalls 1-4 have combined to take a staggering 71% of the route races run at Delaware Park this year.
The play: $8 trifecta 4/1/2, $4 trifecta 4/2/1 ($12)
DFJ analysis: Delaware Park may not be one of Florent Geroux’s regular venues, but he’s poised to have a big Saturday in Wilmington. In addition to piloting I’M A CHATTERBOX for J. Larry Jones, who’s firing at an astonishing 50% at this course, Geroux will have the mount on four other Jones horses. He’ll also be on favored Catcha Rising Star in Race 7, trained by Graham Motion. His $10,500 salary is a bit steep but he’s worth it this Saturday.
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