The Delaware Handicap, 2008

Jul 15th 2008 12:36 am |

Delaware Park’s big weekend concluded on Sunday evening with an impressive win in the 71st Delaware Handicap by Hystericalady. Last year’s winner, Unbridled Belle, who set the pace in a local prep a few weeks back, couldn’t get the early jump and had no chance to close into a weak pace set by long shot and game second place runner Lemon Drop Mom.

Proud Spell looked every bit the champion winning the Delaware Oaks on Saturday just two weeks after her disastrous trip in the Mother Goose at Belmont Park. She received the loudest applause of the weekend returning to the winner’s circle with local favorite Gabriel Saez aboard.

Delaware Park has seen a number of great horses get their start in recent years but rarely have they returned to run again. Proud Spell broke her maiden at Delaware Park last July and won a small stake there in August before winning the Matron at Belmont in September. The local fans truly appreciated Larry Jones bringing his filly back for the Delaware Oaks. Hope to see her in the Alabama.

I had a good weekend at the windows focusing on the local races — Mrs. Colin’s Ghost had a great weekend capping it off by hitting the late double with long shot Magical Forest in the Barbaro Stakes and Hystericalady in the Del Cap.

Here are some photographs from Saturday and Sunday:

Proud Spell heading towards the track for the Delaware Oaks
Fillies break from the gate in the Delaware Oaks
Gabriel Saez and Proud Spell into the winner’s circle

Sunday’s crowd…I think Saturday drew a larger crowd but that is purely observational (I don’t think Delaware Park releases attendance figures). Check out the photo below of the crowd for the Delaware Handicap in 1955. I think I prefer the wide open spaces of the current racing scene. (Image courtesy Delaware Historical Society)

Crowd surrounds the paddock area before the Delaware Handicap

Hystericalady enters the track with Garrett Gomez

The post parade for the Delaware Handicap

The winner preps for her picture

In case you missed it, read about the history of the Delaware Handicap in last week’s post. Special thanks to the Delaware Historical Society for permission to use historic images from their collection.

See additional images and commentary on Del Cap day at Superfectablog

Next stop…opening weekend at Saratoga!

Thanks for reading

Filed in Delaware Handicap,Delaware Park,Hystericalady,Proud Spell

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