September 25, 2023

Dunbar Road installed as 6-5 choice in eight-horse Delaware Handicap

Dunbar Road wins Alabama Stakes
Dunbar Road winning the 2019 Alabama (G1) at Saratoga (c) Adam Coglianese/NYRA

Grade 1 winner Dunbar Road will take some beating in Saturday’s $400,000 Delaware H. (G2). The Chad Brown-trained filly opened her 4-year-old season with a comfortable victory in the May 23 Shawnee S. at Churchill Downs, and the daughter of Quality Road has captured 5-of-8 career starts.

Listed as the 6-5 favorite on the morning line, Dunbar Road will face seven rivals in the 1 1/8-mile centerpiece event at Delaware Park. Irad Ortiz Jr. takes over the mount from his brother Jose, who will be at Keeneland on Saturday.

Grade 3 winner Bellera has been pegged as the early 7-2 second choice.  Unplaced when trying turf last time, the 4-year-old filly captured the Ladies H. at Aqueduct earlier this season and owns a 3-for-4 record at the distance. Trevor McCarthy has been named to ride, and Bellera is one of two for Todd Pletcher, who also has Always Shopping in the lineup. Winner of the Gazelle (G2) last fall, Always Shopping is the 5-1 third choice on the morning line with Carol Cedeno, but the 4-year-old filly is cross-entered to Saturday’s Ruffian (G2) at Belmont Park.

Lucky Move exits a nice win in the local prep, the June 17 Obeah Stakes, and the 6-year-old mare registered a career-best 102 Brisnet Speed rating for the 1 1/4-length decision. Roberto Rosada retains the mount for trainer Juan Guerrero. Sarcosa enters on the upswing for conditioner Cipriano Contreras following a half-length second in a May 31 allowance at Churchill Downs. Other runners include Grade 3 turf scorer Vexatious, who is cross-entered to the Ruffian; and stakes runner-up Over Thinking.