Delaware Handicap, 2011

Jul 20th 2011 10:00 am |

Delaware Park paddock

In many ways this year’s Delaware Handicap Day at Delaware Park looked like most others. The sun was blazing on a hot and humid day, the crowds were a bit larger then usual, and the most beautiful paddock in the country looked as beautiful as ever. But this year was not just another day Del Cap Day at Delaware Park. In fact, this year’s edition could go down as one of the most significant in the old track’s history.

It’s ultimate place in history will depend on how it’s star participants finish out the season, but we can be certain it will rank among the most exciting finishes to the Del Cap we will ever see. I was among the crowd and had a perfect spot to watch the two big fillies fight to the wire. A race like Saturday’s is one that race fans live for — a deservedly hyped race that lived up to all the hype.

Blind Luck and Havre de Grace continued their rivalry on Saturday where it all started, and the result looked almost identical to the finish in their first meeting in last year’s Delaware Oaks. An estimated 15,000 were in the house to see Blind Luck and Havre de Grace put on a display that those in attendance will long remember.

Blind Luck became the first filly since Parlo in 1955 to complete the Delaware Oaks/Delaware Handicap double. Her career so far has placed her on the fast track for a place in the Racing Hall of Fame alongside her newly inducted trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. Of course, she will need a few more quality wins to earn that honor. Adding a win against males this season would put a huge step towards etching her name in the history books. It would also put her in the mix for this year’s Horse of the Year award.

Her connections have aggressively campaigned her, but have yet to jump in the deep water against the boys. How exciting would it be to see her at Belmont Park in the Jockey Club Gold Cup or the Breeders Cup Classic at Churchill Downs? Considering the older male division, she would have a shot at winning either (or both). Wherever she might race for the remainder of her year, you can be certain that the racing world will be watching. She is as fun to watch as any thoroughbred we have seen so far in the young century.

The entire Colin’s Ghost crew was in the house for the big race on Saturday and (as usual) we had a blast. I am a bit bias, but Delaware Park is a perfect place to spend the day and one of the best thoroughbred tracks in the country.

Here are a couple of pictures we took on Saturday:

Blind Luck heads to the track for the Del Cap

Blind Luck

Havre de Grace and Ramon Dominguez before the Del Cap

The Del Cap field passes the stands for the first time

All eyes on Blind Luck in the Delaware Park winners circle

Jockey Garret Gomez points down to his winning mount after winning the 2011 Del Cap

Saratoga opens this weekend..back next week with more racing history. Thanks for reading and good luck!

Filed in Blind Luck,Delaware Handicap,Delaware Park,thoroughbred racing history

2 Responses to “Delaware Handicap, 2011”

  1. Valerie says:

    Wow, those pre-race photos say it all! Talk about two fillies with their game-faces on. I’m green with envy, Kevin! What a race.

  2. Monica says:

    We were there to see these girls in the Oaks last year. Grace’s “game” second to Blind Luck drew my attention. I had no idea then what a grand rivalry this would develop into. Getting to Delaware Park for this year’s Del Cap was an absolute must! So there we were, at the rail near the winner’s circle cheering for Grace along with the rest of the “locals” in attendance. In full agreement: it was a race fans live for -and- Delaware Park is the perfect place to spend the day! I was still buzzing with excitement after my 1hr drive home. I may not have ever gotten to see Zenyatta race live, but I was there for the Blind Luck/Havre de Grace Del Cap in ’11 and I’ll never forget it! You can bet I got goosebumps watching Grace beat the boys a few weeks later in Saratoga too……….albeit on a tv screen.