September 29, 2023

Miss Marissa beats lackluster Bonny South in Delaware Handicap

Miss Marissa winning the Delaware Handicap (Photo by Hoofprints, Inc)

Miss Marissa toppled a heavily favored Bonny South for a second time in a nine-month span in Saturday’s $400,000 Delaware H. (G2) under Daniel Centeno.

When the pair had last met, in the Oct. 3 Black-Eyed Susan (G2) at Pimlico, the 10-1 Miss Marissa stunned Bonny South, who started at 9-10, by a neck. The result was far more decisive in the 1 1/4-mile Del ‘Cap, contested over a fast track.

Taking the lead approaching the first turn, Miss Marissa was left largely by herself on the front end down the backside. The 9-2 second choice, she got away with setting a tepid pace of :25.15, :50.10, 1:14.62, and 1:39.34.

Bonny South, at 1-2, raced in fourth in between rivals down the backside, came under a ride around the far turn, and ultimately never challenged.

Miss Marissa, whose closest pursuer throughout had been Gibberish, held that rival safe down the stretch and won by 1 1/4 lengths in a time of 2:04.50. Queen Nekia finished third and was followed by Dream Marie, Bonny South, who finished 8 1/2 lengths behind the winner, and Saracosa.

“I knew there was not much speed today, but she broke really really sharp today. After we went to the lead, she started galloping right away. She did it herself, she fired and she just put them away,” Centeno said.

Owned by Cammarota Racing and trained by Jim Ryerson, Miss Marisa paid $11.80.

Miss Marissa had captured the Black-Eyed Susan after placing in only one of her prior four stakes attempts, that being a third in the Ruthless S. at Aqueduct in January of last year. Since the Pimlico fixture, Miss Marissa had finished up the track in the Comely (G3) at Aqueduct last November, but finished second in the Jan. 17 Ladies H. over the same track and in the June 9 Obeah S. at Delaware to Dream Marie in her returned from an extended layoff. Her record now stands at 16-5-4-1, $604,690.

“We will probably run her in the big race at Saratoga (Personal Ensign [G1]). We have stalls there and she has run well there. It will be a monster race, but now that we have won this race, we need to try it against the bigger fish on our home track,” Ryerson said.

Bred in Kentucky by Woodford Thoroughbreds and sold for $18,000 as an OBS October yearling, Miss Marissa is by He’s Had Enough and out of Ardara, by Arch. Her second dam was the Canadian champion turf mare Inish Glora.

Robert G. Dick Memorial (G3)

Dalika dueled Candy Flower into submission and had plenty in the second half of of the $150,000 Robert G. Dick Memorial (G3) to win the 1 3/8-mile grass test for fillies and mares by a length from Luck Money. Temple City Terror, the lukewarm favorite, finished third.

Sent off as the 4-1 fourth choice in a field of nine, Dalika paid $10.60 after covering the distance on soft ground in 2:16.35 under Miguel Mena. She’s owned by Bal Mar Equine and trained by Al Stall Jr.

Narrowly second to Temple City Terror in the May 22 Keertana S. at Churchill Downs after leading by as much as 15 lengths, Dalika had previously defeated that rival in the Albert M. Stall Memorial at Fair Grounds in February. She also captured the Blushing K. D. S. at the New Orleans track in December, as well as the restricted One Dreamer S. at Kentucky Downs last September. Her one prior placing at graded level was a second in the 2019 Mrs. Revere (G2) at Churchill. Her record now stands at 22-7-5-0, $508,463.

Bred in Germany by Gestut Ammerland, Dalika is by Pastorius and out of Drawn to Run, by Hurricane Run.