The Oaks is one of four stakes on an 11-race Saturday card. First post is set for 1:15 p.m. EDT, with the 1 1/16-mile Oaks scheduled for 5:45 p.m.
Dark Nile, by Pioneerof the Nile and raced by WinStar Farm, is three-for-four in her career. She finished a closing third in her first start at Tampa Bay Downs in a six-furlong maiden special weight event in January, and since then has won three in a row, all around two turns, for trainer Arnaud Delacour.
Bred in Pennsylvania by Blackstone Farm, Dark Nile has won on the lead or from off the pace, which makes her dangerous in a race with several confirmed front-runners. In the June 8 Our Mims at one mile and 70 yards, she rallied from fifth early to collar Phipps Stable homebred Medaglia d'Oro filly Browse, who attempted to go gate-to-wire.
"This is the race we have been shooting for and it is the next logical spot," Delacour told Delaware Park media officials. "She is doing very well. I really like that she has had a successful race over the track, and we are excited about giving her a chance in a graded race."
Browse, trained by Shug McGaughey, is back for more in the Oaks. She is a length and a quarter shy of being four-for-four in her career and figures to be tougher the farther she goes.
Cheyenne Stables' Kinsley Kisses, a speed type who finished third in the 1 1/8-mile Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) in May, cuts back a sixteenth of a mile for the Oaks for trainer Todd Pletcher. The Congrats filly bred by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings before that finished third in the grade III Beaumont Stakes at about seven furlongs at Keeneland; the Beaumont winner, Lightstream, won the Soaring Softly Stakes at Belmont Park then finished third in the Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I) July 2.
Another Pioneerof the Nile filly, Gryphon Investments' Eighth Wonder, faces her toughest test to date. She has won four sprints and, in her only start around two turns, finished second to Oaks entrant Miss Inclusive in the Parx Oaks but was placed first on a subsequent disqualification of the winner for a therapeutic medication positive that is yet to be adjudicated.
Eighth Wonder has had the lead soon after the start in all five of her races for trainer Dee Curry.
"We think we have a two-turn horse, but we feel she still needs to prove it," Curry said. "She has filled out and she has grown to the point where we feel good about taking this step. She ran a phenomenal race going two turns in her first start of season and she followed with a nice win sprinting. We are hoping she just keeps moving forward."
Delaware Park, Saturday, July 09, 2016, Race 10
- 1 1/16m
- 3 yo Fillies
- 5:45 PM (local)
|1||1Miss Inclusive (KY)||Joshua Navarro||116||John C. Servis||8/1|
|2||2Browse (KY)||Edgar S. Prado||118||Claude R. McGaughey III||9/2|
|3||3Flora Dora (FL)||Erick D. Rodriguez||120||Marialice Coffey||12/1|
|4||4Dark Nile (PA)||Daniel Centeno||116||Arnaud Delacour||4/1|
|5||5A Place to Shine (KY)||Brian Pedroza||116||Kathy P. Mongeon||12/1|
|6||6Downdraft (KY)||Angel Cruz||116||James L. Lawrence, II||12/1|
|7||7Kinsley Kisses (KY)||Carol Cedeno||116||Todd A. Pletcher||5/2|
|8||8Dreams to Reality (KY)||Alex Cintron||116||Michael Dilger||10/1|
|9||9Eighth Wonder (KY)||Jose Luis Flores||120||Dee Curry||5/1|