The Grade I, $750,000 Delaware Handicap is the feature at Delaware Park this Saturday. The 1 1/4-mile heat that’s drawn the likes of Royal Delta, Blind Luck and other famous distaffers has lured SONGBIRD as she looks to start the year 2-for-2. She’ll face just five others in the Delaware Handicap, which goes as Race 9 on an 11-race card. Estimated post time is 5:30 p.m. EST. Be sure to study the stakes-laden Delaware program carefully if you’re playing FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
#5 SONGBIRD (1-5, morning-line favorite) and Mike Smith will carry 124 pounds, spotting between nine and 13 pounds to her rivals, but it shouldn’t be an issue. SONGBIRD has been defeated only once in 13 career starts, and is 2-for-2 at the demanding 1 1/4-mile distance. The collective résumés of SONGBIRD’s competitors can’t hold to a candle to her accomplishments. She should also have no difficulties in establishing early command. If SONGBIRD is defeated, it would be among the greatest upsets in horse racing history.
#2 MARTINI GLASS (8-1) is an improving filly that can land a share in this one. Monmouth regular Jose Ferrer will have the call, as he did last month when MARTINI GLASS was narrowly beaten in the Obeah Stakes at this course. She’s training as sharply as ever for Keith Nations.
#4 LINE OF BEST FIT (12-1) is worth a long look when filling out exotics. She’s won five of her last six starts, most in romping fashion from just off the pace. She’s far behind SONGBIRD in both class and speed figures, but if patiently handled by Edwin Gonzalez, she could sit second throughout. Note the strong half-mile tune-up she posted in preparation for this.
#3 WEEP NO MORE (6-1) looks like a bet-against as she was buried by SONGBIRD in consecutive races last summer. She’s failed to hit the board in two tries since.
The play: $6 exacta 5/2, $4 exacta 5/4 ($10)
DFJ analysis: Mike Smith rides just twice but has a sure thing with SONGBIRD in the Delaware Handicap. His other mount comes in the Grade III Kent Stakes with Lunaire (9-2). Pick him up at a relatively low cost.
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