Taptam, runner-up to Zenyatta in April, and Peruvian-bred Morena, who finished third behind runner-up Rachel Alexandra most recently and second in this race a year ago, are among a field of 10 entered for the $150,000 Obeah Stakes (gr. III) at Delaware Park June 12.
War Echo is the lone entrant with a graded-stakes win in North America for the 1 1/8-mile Obeah, which headlines Delaware Park’s 10-race program. Post time for the main-track event is slated for 4:51 p.m. EDT.
Wayne Sanders’ and Larry Hirsch’s Taptam was beaten 4 1/4 lengths by undefeated Zenyatta in the April 9 Apple Blossom Invitational (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park. Earlier in the season, the 5-year-old Pleasant Tap mare won a pair of races on the same track, including the Pippin Stakes on a sloppy surface.
A winner of eight of 27 starts in her career, Taptam enters the race off a runner-up finish to another Obeah entrant, Mindy Sue, in the Winter Melody Stakes May 8 at Delaware. Bred in Texas by Sanders, the chestnut mare will break from post eight. Joseph Rocco Jr. will ride for trainer Bret Calhoun.
Mount Brilliant Stable’s Morena was five lengths behind reigning Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra in the La Troienne Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs April 30. Unrivaled Belle won the race by a head.
A four-time group stakes winner in Peru and champion the last three years there, the 6-year-old mare is still seeking her first win in North America, though she has hit the board in four of her seven starts.
Michael Matz trains Morena, who was runner-up by 11 lengths to Unbridled Belle in the 2009 Obeah, her U.S. debut. One race later she was fourth in the Delaware Handicap (gr. II). Jeremy Rose will be aboard Morena, who drew post 10.
Winchell Thoroughbreds’ War Echo earned her graded-stakes victory in Fair Grounds’ Silverbulletday Stakes (gr. III) last winter as a 3-year-old. The daughter of Tapit won three of four races in 2009, including the Daily Racing Form Distaff Stakes, also at Fair Grounds. But she is winless in three starts this season, including the Apple Blossom when a distant fifth.
Channing Hill will ride War Echo for trainer Steve Asmussen.
Joseph Novogratz’s Mindy Sue won the Winter Melody by 1 3/4 lengths, giving her four wins in nine starts. The 4-year-old Pleasantly Perfect filly has never been out of the money, but will make her graded- stakes debut in the Obeah.
$150,000 Obeah Stakes (gr. III, Race 9, 4:51 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Dirt) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Stage Trick (KY), J C Caraballo, 119, A E Goldberg
2. Pumpkin Shell (KY), G Saez, 117, D G Donk
3. War Echo (KY), C Hill, 117, S M Asmussen
4. Miss Match (ARG), T J Thompson, 117, M R Matz
5. Miss Singhsix (IRE), J Valdivia Jr., 117, M D Wolfson
6. Mindy Sue (KY), I Ocampo, 119, M Robertson
7. Platinum (KY), S J Sellers, 117, W I Mott
8. Taptam (TX), J Rocco Jr., 117, W B Calhoun
9. Jessica Is Back (FL), A R Napravnik, 117, M D Wolfson
10. Morena (PER), J Rose, 117, M R Matz