Delaware Handicap News & Notes
Fresh off Obeah Stakes victory, Miss Leslie eyes Delaware Handicap
Wilmington, Del., July 5, 2022 — BB Horses’ Miss Leslie tops the 85th renewal of the mile-and-a-quarter $500,000 Grade II Delaware Handicap at Delaware Park this Saturday. The filly and mare summer classic has attracted a field of seven. The Delaware Handicap has been carded as the seventh race with an approximate post time of 3:30 p.m.
In her most recent, Miss Leslie notched a half-length victory in the local prep, the mile and a sixteenth $150,000 Obeah Stakes on June 8. Previously, the 4-year-old daughter of Paynter won the mile and seventy-yard $106,000 Serena’s Song at Monmouth Park by 4 ½-lengths on May 8. The Kentucky-bred trained by Claudio Gonzalez has career record of nine wins, three seconds and two thirds from 21 starts with $565,650. She is unbeaten at Delaware Park. In her only other outing over the Stanton-oval, she posted a 5 ¼-length score in a mile and seventy-yard allowance last year.
“She is coming into the race really good,” said trainer Claudio Gonzalez. “She came back in great shape after the Obeah Stakes. The longer the race, the better it is for her. The older she gets the better she gets. She has become so much more mature this year which is reason she has been getting better with each race. We feel good that she likes the track. She won the Obeah and last year, she won a nice allowance at Delaware. She seems like she is getting better with each start, she should like distance and she likes the track, so we are looking forward to this Saturday.”
Michael Dubb and Gandharvi Racing Stables’s Battle Bling will be looking to turn the tables on Miss Leslie. In her last, she ran second to Miss Leslie as the 4-to-5 favorite in the Obeah Stakes. Previously, Battle Bling was fourth in the mile and a sixteenth $750,000 Grade I La Troienne at Churchill Downs on May 6. The 4-year-old daughter of Vancouver trained by Rob Atras has a career record of thee wins, seven seconds and a third from 17 starts with earnings of $315,617.
Since the Obeah Stakes was inaugurated in 1996, three fillies or mares have won the race and followed with a victory in the Delaware Handicap. They were the 2006 older female champion Fleet Indian, I’m a Chatterbox, who won the race in 2016, and Miss Marissa, who won last year. Two fillies have finished second in the Obeah and won the Delaware Handicap. They were Power Play in 1997 and Unbridled Belle in 2007. Three winners of the Obeah Stakes have followed by running second in the Delaware Handicap. They were Under the Rug in 2001, Your Out in 2002 and the 2011 Horse of the Year Havre de Grace.
$500,000 Grade II Delaware Handicap
For fillies and mares 3-year-olds and up
at a mile and a quarter
PP HORSE OWNER TRAINER JOCKEY Wg OD
1 Let’s Cruise Giles & Hilliebrand McLean Robertson Carol Cedeno 113 8-1
2 Onyx Arindel Juan Alvarado Jeremy Rose 112 10-1
3 Tonal Vision Ten Strike Racing Juan Carlos Guerrero Jeiron Barbosa 116 8-1
4 Battle Bling Dubb & Gandharvi Racing Rob Atras Kendrick Carmouche 117 3-1
5 Microcap Gulliver Racing Grant Forster Jorge Vargas Jr 114 4-1
6 Bees and Honey Gainesway & Rosen Claude McGaughey III Umberto Rispoli 115 6-1
7 Miss Leslie BB Horses Claudio Gonzalez Angel Cruz 121 2-1