Longley Could be Peaking for Inaugural Barbaro Stakes

(from Delaware Park report)

Donald Adam’s Longley could be peaking just in time for the inaugural running of the $300,000 Barbaro Stakes (gr. III) at Delaware Park on Sunday. The 1 1/16-mile test for 3-year-olds was formerly known has the Leonard Richards, but was renamed after the 2006 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner who notched his maiden victory in his career debut at Delaware Park. 

The race has attracted a field of seven.

Since finishing sixth in the 1 1/16-mile Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct on March 10, the son of Seeking the Gold has notched three consecutive scores, the last two coming at Delaware Park. In his most recent, he won the 1 1/16-mile Floor Show Stakes by 4 1/2 lengths.  Previously, the Kentucky-bred trained by H. Graham Motion won a Delaware allowance at the same 1 1/16-mile distance by 9 1/4 lengths. His career record is four wins and a third from six starts with earnings of $119,190.

“I thought he was very impressive in the Floor Show, especially with the way he did it,” said Motion. “He had to stalk horses and Jeremy (Rose) said he was very professional in the way he won. It looked like he won pretty handily, so obviously I am pretty excited about running him back, although, this is going to be a big step up for him. He certainly seems like he has an affinity for Delaware.

"We took a shot at the Gotham and obviously he was not quite ready for it, but I thought at the time that I had to find out. I thought he might be that good, but I had to find out because I would have kicked myself if I would have found out after the first Saturday in May. After that, when things did not work out, we kind of regressed and took some baby steps to get some seasoning.”

The likely favorite is Team Valor Stable’s King of the Roxy.  In his last, the son of Littleexpectations ran sixth in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) on May 19.  Previously, the Ohio-bred trained by Todd Pletcher ran second in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on April 7.  In his only other start this year, he won the 7 1/2-furlong Hutcheson Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park on March 3. Last year, he won the Futurity (gr. II) at Belmont Park. His career record is three wins and two seconds from eight starts with earnings of $466,400.

The second choice will likely be Mark Shuman’s Xchanger, co-owned by Circle Z Stable and Joseph Masone. In his last effort, the son of Exchange Rate ran eighth in the Preakness. Previously, the Florida-bred trained by Shuman won the 1 1/8-mile Federcio Tesio Stakes at Pimlico. He has a career record of three wins and two thirds from nine starts with earnings of $291,990.

$300,000 Barbaro Stakes (gr. III, Race 10, 5:13 p.m.), 3-Year-Olds, 1 1/16 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, ML Odds
1. King of the Roxy (OH), Ramon A. Dominguez, 116, 2/1
2. Reptilian Smarts (KY), Abel Castellano, Jr., 116, 8/1
3. Hal's My Hope (FL), Mario G. Pino, 118, 8/1
4. Point Blake (KY), no rider, 116, 10/1
5. Phone Home (NY), John R. Velazquez, 116, 4/1
6. Xchanger (FL), Edgar S. Prado, 118, 3/1
7. Longley (KY), Jeremy Rose, 116, 6/1

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