Local horses hold the edge in Delaware Oaks

The Grade III, $300,000 Delaware Oaks is the feature on Delaware Park’s Saturday program. A field of 10 three-year-old fillies will contest this 1 1/16-mile affair. Post time for the Delaware Oaks, Race 10 of 11 on the day, is 5:45 p.m. EST. Several important jockeys ship in for this, so study this race carefully if playing FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!

#5 BLUE STRIKE (10-1) is one of four exiting the Light Hearted Stakes, the local Delaware Oaks prep. She was second to #1 MO SHOPPING but was wider throughout and lost by just a half-length. That was a very good performance in her first try in stakes competition. Prior to that, BLUE STRIKE recorded consecutive runaway wins. She’ll receive a few pounds from some of her out-of-town foes as she switches to solid Delaware pilot Alex Cintron. BLUE STRIKE is a very likable longshot.

#10 GIO GAME (4-1) was in the deep end of the pool last time out, settling for third in the Acorn behind division-leader Monomoy Girl. She continues to post solid speed figures in her three-year-old campaign and will also get in light here (116 lbs). Julien Leparoux will ship in and maintain the assignment on GIO GAME.

#1 MO SHOPPING (8-1) is one of three charges for trainer Todd Pletcher. The Light Hearted winner was very sharp off a brief freshening and may have more to offer in the Delaware Oaks. It’s always a ‘plus’ when a horse has proven it can handle the Delaware oval. Mario Pino has the call once more.

#9 RED RUBY (3-1, morning-line favorite) would not be a surprise but her best performances, including her Black-Eyed Susan romp last time out, came over sloppy tracks. She’s a bit of an unknown over fast dirt and has never raced at Delaware Park. She’ll also carry six pounds more than most of her rivals. Paco Lopez will be in the irons.

The play: $1 exacta box 1/5/10, $1 exacta key box 5/1,10 ($10)

DFJ analysis: Julien Leparoux has two mounts on Saturday in addition to GIO GAME in the Delaware Oaks. He’ll have the call on Utmost (5-1) in the Cape Henlopen and La Manta Gris (8-1) in the Robert G. Dick Memorial. Leparoux has a good chance to hit the board with all three of his Saturday assignments at Delaware.

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