Delaware Park News & Notes
Wilmington, Del., July 8, 2023 — P. Dale Ladner’s Alva Starr notched her first career stake by defeating older fillies and mares in the $100,300 Dashing Beauty Stakes at Delaware Park today.
With Mychel Sanchez aboard, the 3-year-old daughter of Lord Nelson posted a 6 ¾-length victory and returned $4.80 as the favorite in the field of seven. Cheetara, with Vincent Cheminaud, finished second a length in front of Sweet Gracie, with Jean Alvelo, in third.
Alva Starr set early fractions :22.28 for the quarter mile and :44.88 for the half mile before completing the six furlongs in 1:09.34 over a fast main track.
The Kentucky-bred conditioned by Brett Brinkman raised her career record to two wins from four starts with earnings of $131,400.
“I thought I had a nice easy lead,” said winning rider Mychel Sanchez. “Even though I was going fast, she was doing it comfortably. At the 3/8ths pole I knew we were home. She was anxious to run and when we got to the gate. She did not even blink. She was just so laser focused to run.”
After breaking her maiden at Delaware Park in her only start last season, she was given a break before running second in her 3-year-old debut in an allowance at Oaklawn Park. She followed with a second in a Churchill Down allowance.
“We stopped on her and did some therapy work on her, but it was as much mental as anything else,” said winning trainer Brett Brinkman. “She had tons of talent, but she just was not mentally ready to do it. I do not know where that came from because her sister was a super good mental filly. But it gave her some time to kind of grow up and mature. We chased a race at Oaklawn which was a good starting point for us. We went to Churchill with big expectations and ended up second. I still do not think we were quite tight, but when we got here (Delaware) and got a couple of works in her, I felt more confident. I did not want to haul her to New York today to run her. I wanted to run her out of her stall where she had been training, one time. Running against older mares, you always have your do doubts, but we felt like it was the right thing for the horse. Whether we win or run second, we just felt like mentally it was the right thing for the her. She is fast and sometimes that is your worst enemy, but she was fast enough to run them off her feet today.”
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