Delaware Park News & Notes

Miss Leslie posts record setting Delaware Handicap victory


Wilmington, Del., July 9, 2022 — BB Horses’ Miss Leslie cruised to an easy victory in the Grade II $500,125 Delaware Handicap at Delaware Park today.


With Angel Cruz aboard, the 4-year-old daughter of Paynter won a by a race setting record margin of 12-lengths. The previous record was held by Hall of Famer Royal Delta who won the Delaware Handicap by 10 ¾-lengths in 2013.   Miss Leslie returned $5.80 as the favorite in the field of seven.


Battle Bling, with Kendrick Carmouche, finished second ¾-lengths in front of Tonal Vision, Jeiron Barbosa, in third.


Let’s Cruise, with Carol Cedeno aboard, set early fractions of :48.49 for the half mile and 1:13.73 for the three-quarters mile before fading to sixth.  The final time for a mile and a quarter was 2:04.50 over a sloppy track.


This was the third straight victory for Miss Leslie who won the $106,000 Serena’s Song at Monmouth Park on May 8 and she followed with a victory in the $150,000 Obeah Stakes at Delaware Park on June 8.


Winning trainer Claudio Gonzalez knew the Kentucky-bred was ready and he was pleased the preparations showed with her performance.


“This a good feeling because she won impressive,” said winning trainer Claudio Gonzalez.  “She has been doing really good and she showed how well she is doing.  When she goes long, she is an even better filly.”


Gonzalez is not sure where he will run Miss Leslie next, but he could consider a Grade I especially after her impressive victory.


“We got to think about that but that with way she ran today, but let’s see how she comes back and how she is doing,” Gonzalez said.  “After that, we will decide on what we will do.”


Winning jockey Angel Cruz, who has been aboard Miss Leslie for her last nine outings, knew she was going to be tough, but he was even surprised by her dominating victory.


“It feels awesome,” said winning rider Angel Cruz.  “Claudio (Gonzalez) has trusted me with this filly the whole time and he really had her ready today.  I just cruised along with her.  She just kept going.  I only hit her twice and she just galloped.  I looked back and I was home free.  It was a nice performance and I did not expect to win like that.  She was ready today.”


Since the Obeah Stakes was inaugurated in 1996, four 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, Miss Marissa, who won last year and now Miss Leslie.  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.