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Race of the weekend: DelPark's Del Handicap

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  • Race of the weekend: DelPark's Del Handicap

    What should be one of the best match ups will occur Saturday July 16th and likely showed on delay by TVG but live on HRTV. Post time is 5:18 PM EST

    Race 10 - $750,000 Delaware H. (Grade II)

    While a small field all eyes should be on Havre de Grace and Blind Luck - both mares run like mad against each other. Havre de Grace and Blind Luck have met five times since last July with it being a record of 3-2 with the advantage Blind Luck. Hard to pick sides with these two as I enjoy them both.

    Trainer Larry Jones ('Grace) said "I think Havre de Grace is as good or better then anything we have ever had.” That's even after considering Hard Spun, Eight Belles, Proud Spell and Kodiak Kowboy.

    PP ... HORSE ........ JOCKEY ..... WEIGHT
    1. Life At Ten .... D. Cohen .. 115-lbs
    2. Thundering Emilia ... J. Pimentel .. 111-lbs
    3. Havre de Grace .... R. Dominguez .. 124-lbs
    4. Love's Blush ... T. Dunkelberger .. 112-lbs
    5. Blind Luck ... G. Gomez .. 122-lbs

    Side observation: with the trainers you'll have two former top showjumpers head to head too with Michale Matz (Thundering Emilia) and Rodney Jenkins (Love's Blush)

    Havre de Grace, MD, for the trivia folks, is where the Susquehanna River (the longest fresh water river east of the Mississippi in the US) ends where as it originates at the body of water known as 'Glimmerglass' in Cooperstown, NY

  • #2
    Originally posted by Glimmerglass View Post
    What should be one of the best match ups will occur Saturday July 16th and likely showed on delay by TVG but live on HRTV. Post time is 5:18 PM EST

    Havre de Grace, MD, for the trivia folks, is where the Susquehanna River (the longest fresh water river east of the Mississippi in the US) ends where as it originates at the body of water known as 'Glimmerglass' in Cooperstown, NY
    Will be watching...look at the weights those two are carrying...

    and yup, know that little river that leaves Otsego Lake - well, it's little up here!
    But he thought, "This procession has got to go on." So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn't there at all. H.C.Anderson


    • #3
      [quote=Glimmerglass;5721814]What should be one of the best match ups will occur Saturday July 16th and likely showed on delay by TVG but live on HRTV. Post time is 5:18 PM EST/]

      And it was!
      * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis


      • #4
        I missed it! Where's the replay?


        • #5
          Wow, what a race! Definitely worth the drive.
          McDowell Racing Stables

          Home Away From Home


          • Original Poster

            Sensational as promised! Wow.

            Larry said (prior to the race) that 'Grace might take on the boys next. I suspect that wasn't diminished by the end results.

            Video replay: 2011 Delaware Handicap (G2) 1 1/4 mi

            Note the audio from the caller's mic was screwed up in the stretch when it was live too. It doesn't change what magic you see.

            The final time was 2:01.28 which makes this the fastest running of the Del Cap since Unbridled Belle's 2:01.16 in 2006

            As the Daily Racing Form notes this was exactly 371 days after they first met at Delaware Park in the Delaware Oaks, Blind Luck and Havre de Grace, the two best older females in Thoroughbred racing, clashed again Saturday.

            In addition to the $450,000 winner's share of the purse, the 4-year-old Blind Luck earned a berth in this fall's Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic as part of the Win and You're In program. The victory, the 12th in 21 starts for Blind Luck, pushed her career earnings to $3,279,520 and made amends for her 3 1/4-length loss to Havre de Grace when they last met in the Grade 3 Azeri at Oaklawn Park in March. Overall, Blind Luck has now finished in front of Havre de Grace four times.
            Oddly post race Larry Jones made this remark in regards to the handicap weight (Blind Luck was giving just 2-lbs more on Havre de Grace):

            Larry Jones, the trainer of Havre de Grace, had said before the race that the felt the two-pound spread was worth about 1 1/4 lengths going 1 1/4 miles. Afterwards, Jones was clearly upset the weights were not equal.

            "Tell me two pounds does not make a difference," Jones said. "She won six Grade 1's versus our one and we are the highweight. That makes a lot of sense. I probably should not have run."
            Oh and yes Life At Ten the 2010 Breeders' Cup Ladies 'runner' was in this race too and finished 3rd .... 18 1/2 lengths back!

            What's next?

            Blind Luck will be pointed to another 1 1/4-mile race, the Personal Ensign at Saratoga! Hopefully Larry will ship the equally tough Havre de Grace to Spa too. And hopefully Life at Ten will be retired


            • #7
              You can't really see it on the replay but when HdG went past us at about the 7/8ths pole she looked like she was being a bit rank. She settled by the time they got into the turn but when you get beat an inch you have to wonder if that might have made an inch of difference.
              McDowell Racing Stables

              Home Away From Home


              • #8
                That really was some race. HRTV comments included "the race of the year", "perhaps the best horses running"," remeniscent of Affirmed/Alydar".

                The race is not included in today's NYTimes sports coverage. They blew it.

                Have August 28th circled on the calendar! (although it is the day after the Travers - that will be a long weekend!)

                I love how the girls have been so outstanding the past few years.
                But he thought, "This procession has got to go on." So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn't there at all. H.C.Anderson


                • #9
                  What a good race. It is nive to see a good rivalry going.

                  How many times have they met? I say that Blind Luck won 4 of the times?


                  • #10
                    Great Race!

                    ... But I must admit I felt myself getting apprehensive and flinching a bit as they got closer to the wire: Started having flashbacks of the Go For Wand/Bayakoa stretch drive ...


                    • Original Poster

                      Some (elsewhere in cyberspace) have been overly critical with Larry Jones' remarks on the weights and have missed his comments: Delaware Online - "Blind Luck by a nose, again"

                      Jones called it “a great, great race, exactly what you’d expect from two great fillies.”

                      No doubt, it will leave race fans longing for yet another rematch, which could at the Breeder’s Cup this fall, if not sooner.

                      Jones said he would love another chance – under one condition.

                      “If we’re going to race again, the weights have to be even or else we won’t do it,” he said. “We’re not going to give any weight. If they’re the two best horses in the country, then they should race at even weight.

                      “Then we’ll see who the best horse really is.”
                      DelPark estimated 15,000 were in the stands to see the race live. The undercard 9th race was damn fine too: (video replacy) R. R. M. Carpenter Memorial Stakes with a favorite of mine Nacho Friend taking 3rd.

                      In case anyone misses the connections with the naming of Blind Luck: she is daughter of Pollard's Vision --Lucky One (by Best of Luck). Pollard's Vision being blind in one eye throughout his racing career.


                      • Original Poster

                        The official photo finish: Delaware Handicap w/Blind Luck by a snout

                        It was a good day for business too:

                        The handle for the Delaware Handicap was $884,211, up 74 percent over last year’s race.

                        The national handle for Delaware Park’s 12-race card was $3,241,107, an increase of 8.2 percent over DelCap day in 2010.