Weight Won’t Bring Way Up Down

DEL Handicap (Grade 1)- $750.000 Purse
DEL- For Fillies and Mares Three Years Old and Upward
One Mile and One Quarter on the Dirt
July 15, 2017

It was a good day for Team 7 Illusions as the long-time trainer enjoyed a 1-2 finish in the DEL Handicap, as Way Up won her second race of the year by defeating her stablemate, and sister, Wayn. The late Kieltys Way is certainly proud of these two, as she is the dam to both of them. Way Up, despite 7/1 odds, should not be a surprise as a winner, but there were many that felt Wayn was a rabbit in here. Forum chatter seemed to feel that Wayn was only here for one reason. However, if you read the SRF preview, you know that we did not feel that way about Wayn, and it was good to see her have a good race as well. Oddly, Wayn was bet more heavily then Way Up, proving that once again, the odds make no sense in this game. Team 7 Illusions now surpasses Yahudi Stables as the winningest trainer in the history of the stake, with three wins. He has the bookends now of the race’s history, with wins in the first two, in 2006 and 2007, and now here again after ten years. Jockey Mario Gutierrez is a first time winner of the race. Congratulations to them! The time of the victory was 2:01.05, which is middle of the road in the stake’s history. Here’s how it happened!

(½ Mile :48.04)- Breaking well out of the gate were two of the horses from the outside, but most expected that Wayn, from Team 7 Illusions, would be there. John Henry’s The Reaper also got off to a good start, and these two show the way down the frontstretch and into the opening turn. They begin to pull away from the rest of the field as the run into the turn commences, and by the time they reach the top of the backstretch, there is a three length cushion to the rest of the field. Wayn is about a full length ahead of The Reaper at this point, and then you go back that three lengths to a threesome that are running side by side. In the middle of that is our eventual winner, Way Up on the rail, with Zedge (Mb Stables), and Lucky You (Maxmillion Farm) to her outside. After them, it’s a length and a half to Honest Chai (Mb Stables) and Heart Nebulae (SamIam) who are running together. Breaking poorly, and racing poorly throughout was Drill (Mb Stables) at the back.

(Six Furlongs- 1:11.80)- At the front, Wayn is still looking good on the front end and is not beating herself up either with this pace. She remained in good form, and holds the same three-quarter lead over The Reaper. As the run down the backstretch approached the turn, we start to see Way Up start to get more interested and cut a length off of her deficit. Lucky You advances a bit with her, but Zedge starts to drop back from them. Heart Nebulae begins to look for her lane as they start to enter the turn and it appears as though it will be in the fourth lane. Honest Chai is not getting involved quite yet, and Drill is another three lengths out of it.

(Top Of Stretch, 1.5F To Go)- Wayn is continuing to show that she belongs in this race, and leads the way around the turn with no apparent signs of tiring. She is certainly not a rabbit, but she still shows that she is a team player by allowing a nice opening on the rail for Way Up to come on through on exit of the turn. So, as we reach the top of the stretch here, Way Up seems to be in good position, and is even with The Reaper for second. The Reaper is not losing ground, but does not seem to be poised to make a run here, either. Lucky You is closing in on the lead as well from the fourth lane, and trails by a length and a half while Zedge is in striking range as well but more prone to traffic trouble. Heart Nebulae, who we thought was going to make a move at the top of the turn, remains three lengths back. Honest Chai is starting to lose ground, and Drill is somewhere back there, we think.

(Finish- 2:01.05)- Despite being the high weight in the field, Way Up is able to take over the lead from her sister in the stretch while along the rail and inch away to a victory of about half a length. Wayn was impressive in the stretch, and continued to lead until there was a furlong to go. While Way Up went by, she was not going to let Lucky You take away her second place. It seemed as though Lucky You’s pass was going to be inevitable, but Wayn showed a lot of heart to hang on. Lucky You, who should have never been such a long shot, just misses the photo, and is third. Things were tight for fourth, but the steady and consistent stride of Zedge picks up the fourth place check for Mb Stables, holding off Heart Nebulae, who tried to advance in the stretch. The Reaper was in the mix here too, but this early front runner would fall to sixth. It was another two lengths to Honest Chai, and an eternity (well, five lengths), back to Drill, who had to have blown meters or something.

About The Winner: Way Up, trained by Team 7 Illusions, and ridden by Mario Gutierrez, is a four year old filly by Keyed Up and out of the late Kieltys Way. She was bred in California as a third quarter two year old by Team 7 Illusions and they have been together throughout. Congratulations to the connections! The win is her fourth in 12 career starts, her third graded stake win, and her second Grade 1 win. Her career earnings are now an impressive $1,956.98.


##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Way Up Team 7 Illusions Gutierrez Mario 7.05   13/4 2:01.05  
  Wayn Team 7 Illusions Maragh R 5.50   2no 2:01.23  
  Lucky You Maxmillion Farm Pennington F 44.45   31 2:01.24  
  Zedge Mb Stables Smith M E 2.20   4no 2:01.49  
  Heart Nebulae SamIam Velazquez J R 13.30   5hd 2:01.51  
  The Reaper John Henry Moran D 2.25   62 2:01.55  
  Honest Chai Mb Stables Bejarano R 6.85   75 2:02.06  
  Drill Mb Stables Albarado R J 13.70   8 2:03.16  

Track: Fast

Time: :48   1:114  1:354  2:01

$2 Mutuel Prices:

1 – Way Up 16.10 8.30 6.70
6 – Wayn   6.80 5.40
3 – Lucky You     57.00

$1 Exacta: 1 – 6 Paid 35.10

$1 Trifecta: 1 – 6 – 3 Paid 1,404.30

Scratched: None

Winner picked by NS


— NS

Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES

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