Trained by Jonathan Sheppard, Winter View was assigned co-top weight of 123 pounds and will face eight rivals in the 1 3/8-mile turf race for fillies and mares. Also carrying 123 pounds will be Swettenham Stud’s Dress Rehearsal, winner of Gulfstream Park’s Orchid Stakes (gr. III) in March. The Dick Memorial is the second of two graded stakes on a Delaware card that is headlined by the $250,000 Delaware Oaks (gr. II).
Winter View, who raced in France in 2006 and 2007, won just once in her last 12 starts before scoring a two-length allowance victory on Keeneland’s grass in April. A little more than two weeks later the 5-year-old daughter of Thunder Gulch—No Matter What, by Nureyev, captured the Bewitch (gr. IIIT) over the same turf course. Both races were at 1 1/2 miles. Last out, in the June 20 All Along Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Colonial Downs, Winter View came from well off the pace to get up by a head going nine furlongs this time.
All three of Winter View’s consecutive wins have come under Julien Leaproux, however, this time she will have the services of Gabriel Saez for the first time while breaking from post 7. Bred in Kentucky by Augustin Stable’s George Strawbridge Jr., the chestnut mare is 5-1-3 from 21 lifetime starts.
Irish-bred Dress Rehearsal has been in good form for Bill Mott all season, posting a pair of wins, a second, and a third in four starts. The 4-year-old Galileo filly won an optional claimer at Tampa Bay in January, was runner-up to Criticism in the Feb. 22 Very One (gr. IIIT) on Gulfstream’s turf, and then scored by nearly three lengths one month later over the same course in the Orchid.
An earner of more than $210,000 from nine starts, Dress Rehearsal took a narrow lead into the stretch last out in the Bewitch before being collared by Winter View. She finished third by 2 1/4 lengths in that race. Richard Migliore has the mount this time and they will break from the outside.
Christophe Clement trainee Astrologie needs to improve if she is going to beat Winter View, as the 4-year-old filly was beaten 1 1/2 lengths while finishing fourth in the All Along. Bred in France where she raced as a 3-year-old, Astrologie was also fourth in her 2009 debut, the April 25 La Prevoyante (gr. IIT) at Calder Race Course. She is 3-0-2 overall from nine starts. Ramon Dominguez will ride for the first time.
Also in with a shot is another European-bred challenger, Caprice. The 6-year-old German-born daughter of Monsun won the La Zanzara Handicap at Santa Anita earlier this season and was third in the Sheepshead Bay (gr. IIT) May 23 at Belmont.