News and STORIES

Dunbar Road Leads Field of Eight for Delaware Handicap

Author: Clint Goodman
Published: Friday July 10, 2020
Peter Brant's Dunbar Road leads a field of eight set for the $400,000 Delaware Handicap (G2) Saturday at Delaware Park. 

The event for fillies and mares will cover a distance of 1 1/8 miles for the first time in its history, traditionally being run at 1 1/4 miles.

In Dunbar Road's only race this year, she scored a 1 3/4-length victory on May 23 in the 1 1/16-mile Shawnee Stakes at Churchill Downs. 

Last Year, the 4-year-old daughter of Quality Road trained by Chad Brown took the Mother Goose (G2) at Belmont Park, as well as the Alabama Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course. She then went on to place third in the Juddmonte Spinster (G1) at Keeneland. 

To finish her 2019 campaign, the filly put forth a fifth-place effort in the Longines Breeder's Cup Distaff (G1) in November at Santa Anita Park.

Second Choice in Bellera

The morning-line second choice coming into the Delaware Handicap is Mathis Stable, Madaket Stables, and Doheny Racing Stable's Bellera. The 4-year-old is trained by Todd Pletcher. 

Bellera finished seventh on June 6 in the Ginger Punch over the Gulfstream Park grass.

The daughter of Bernardini also finished third on May 16 in the seven-furlong Musical Romance at Gulfstream. In her only other performance this year, Bellera scored the 1 1/8-mile Ladies Handicap Jan. 19 at Aqueduct Racetrack.

In 2019, the filly had three wins and two seconds from six starts, including a victory in the Comely Stakes (G3).

"We like the mile and an eighth around two turns for her," said Pletcher. "She's shown that is what she likes. We're happy to get her back to what she's best suited for."

Always Shopping

Todd Pletcher also entered Repole Stable's Always Shopping into the race.

The 4-year-old daughter of Awesome Again finished fourth last time out going 1 1/8 miles on the grass in the June 7 Treasure Coast Stakes at Gulfstream. In her only other 2020 start, she finished third in a one-mile allowance on April 18 at the South Florida track.

The Kentucky-bred scored a pair of stakes races last year at Aqueduct, including the Gazelle Stakes (G2). She then went on to close out her 3-year-old campaign with a sixth-place effort in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) at Pimlico Racetrack.

Robert G. Dick Memorial 

The race right before the featured Delaware Handicap will be the $125,000 Robert G. Dick Memorial (G3T). Morsches Stable's Gentle Ruler will be looking for a repeat victory in the 1 3/8-mile turf race for fillies and mares. There will be a field of 10.

Gentle Ruler scored a 2 3/4-length win in last year's edition. The Kentucky-bred mare then went on to finish fourth in the Aug. 4 Fasig-Tipton Waya Stakes (G3T) at Saratoga. 

She closed out her season by winning the 1 5/16-mile Ramsey Farm Stakes at Kentucky Downs by a half-length in September, as well as the 1 1/2-mile Rood and Riddle Dowager Stakes (G3T) at Keeneland by 2 1/2 lengths in October.

The 5-year-old daughter of Colonel John trained by Ian Wilkes finished second in the March 29 Orchid Stakes Presented by Rood and Riddle (G3T) at Gulfstream to kick off her 2020 campaign. Her most recent performance was a head victory on June 6 in a 1 3/8-mile turf allowance at Churchill Downs. 

Trainer H. Graham Motion will be looking for his ninth career victory in the Robert G. Dick Memorial with Andrew Stone's Mrs. Sippy in what will be her first start of 2020.

The 5-year-old daughter of Blame ended last year unplaced in the Maker's Mark Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1T) at Santa Anita. She scored the Glens Falls (G2T) at Saratoga and finished second in the Flower Bowl Stakes (G1T) at Belmont.