Haras du Mezeray and Skymarc Farm’s Aigue Marine, who has a pair of second-place finishes in three 2014 starts, looks to break through with a victory in the $200,000 Robert G. Dick Memorial Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Delaware Park July 5.
Thirteen fillies and mares were entered in the 1 3/8-mile turf event, which will go as race six on a 10-race program that features the grade II Delaware Oaks. Rain is in the forecast for July 3-4 in the northern Delaware area as Hurricane Arthur skirts the coast, but the Saturday forecast calls for sunshine and high temperatures in the low 80s.
Trained by Christophe Clement, Aigue Marine, a 5-year-old Galileo mare bred by her owners in Great Britain, is suited by the distance of the Dick Memorial. In her last start April 24 at Keeneland, the bay finished second, beaten a neck by Inimitable Romanee, in the 1 1/2-mile Bewitch Stakes (gr. IIIT) on grass.
Earlier this year at Gulfstream Park, Aigue Marine, who shipped to the United States from France in 2012, finished second in The Very One Stakes (gr. IIIT) at 1 3/8 miles on the turf. Kendrick Carmouche is named to ride at 118 pounds from post 10.
“Because we have enjoyed success in this race, it is always on my radar, so I am always thinking about what horses to point toward this stakes,” Motion told Delaware Park officials. “It is always a lot of fun to have success in a certain race. It is a race in which we have been lucky, and we have won it with some really nice mares. A few of those have become really nice broodmares. Hopefully, we will make a good showing this year.”
Motion won the Dick Memorial with Bursting Forth in 1999, New Economy in 2002, Alternate in 2003-04, Rosinka in 2007, and Caprice in 2009.
Auld Alliance, a 4-year-old Montjeu filly bred in Ireland by Ballymacoll Stud Farm, raced in England in 2012-13. In her first U.S. start May 7, she won a 1 1/4-mile turf allowance test at Belmont Park, then stepped up big time to face males in the two-mile Belmont Gold Cup on grass. She finished seventh but went off at only 7-1 odds.
Alex Cintron, tied with Daniel Centeno atop the jockey standings at the Delaware Park meet, is named to ride at 120 pounds.
“Auld Alliance is very similar to Concise,” Motion said. “She has got some talent and ability. She is taking a step up as well, but I think she will run well.”
Concise, a British-bred 5-year-old by El Prado, comes into Saturday's race off a front-running allowance win over Belmont's inner turf course at 10 furlongs May 25. This will be her first try at the longer journey.