Precise Performance Goes Long Again In Strong DEL Handicap

DEL Handicap (Grade 2)- $500.000 Purse
DEL- For Fillies and Mares Three Years Old and Upward
One Mile and One Quarter on the Dirt
July 9, 2022

We’re back at DEL this weekend for one of the biggest races of the meet, the $500.000 DEL Handicap, for fillies and mares. When this race first appeared on the schedule in 2006, it had a $1,000.000 purse associated with it, but would lose $250.000 in 2010, and then sunk all the way to $400.000 last year, so at least we can say the purse is going in the right direction. That race was won by Fashionable, for Mb Stables, and while it was a smaller purse for her to win, she has won plenty over her lifetime, with the Pegasus World Cup this year helping a lot. Weight should be a non-issue for this handicap, as all horses are carrying either 119 or 120 pounds. We’ll have eight going to the gate for this year’s race, and they would all love to look as good as Fashionable, for sure.

#1- Terra Command (Threshold, ridden by A Beschizza)- This one was cheaply claimed in March of last year for $20.000, and Threshold has done well with the mare, running it on the turf well and getting consistent in the money finishes in ungraded, and then graded stakes. At long last, in her last start, she would win one of those stakes, taking the $200.000 Shawnee against three others at CD last month. That was her first race since last July on the dirt, and with it going so well, she gets another shot.

#2- Cp Dark Pain (Threshold, ridden by J R Davila Jr)- The king of FL gets a chance to run in a big race, as Davila Jr gets the ride on Cp Dark Pain, the second of two entries for Threshold. She’s won six of 17, but most of those came at the fair tracks. She would have a promising stretch of three races, beginning with the win in the LAPN Distaff, but has more duds on her resume than I would prefer to see. I could forgive the last outing, which came on the turf, but I don’t know if I would trust her at the betting window.

#3- Chance In Graceland (Night Rider Stables, ridden by A Bocachica)- This one has had her chance in ungraded stakes a few times over her 23-race career, but she has also been claimed multiple times, telling me she can be either a frustrating horse to own or simply hard to get a handle on. Night Rider was the most recent one to claim her, doing so for $15.000 in March, and he got a couple a good allowance results from her. Then, the Grade 3 Allaire Distaff Stakes was tried and it did not go as well. This will be her second career graded try.

#4- Speedy Ginger (The Sidley Stud, ridden by R Chirinos)- A veteran six year old mare with twelve wins in 36 career starts. Many of her wins are in overnights, but she has a handful of wins in ungraded stakes or smaller graded affairs. It’s hard to say what would really be her signature win at this point, perhaps the $100.000 Grade 3 Bayakoa Handicap last December, but she can change that discussion with a win right here. I’m a little concerned by her last outing, the Grade 2 Santa Maria, but she can overcome that.

#5- Precise Performance (Mb Stables, ridden by Mar Garcia)- She’ll forever be known by her great three year old season, when she won the Grade 1 Alabama at SAR and then capped it off by winning the BC Distaff. She was also within a length of winning the KYO that year. Last year, she cut her distance down, but picked up another big SAR victory, the Grade 1 Ballerina, and ran second in the BC Fillies and Mares Sprint. Safe to say then, this is a horse who rises up in the bigger races. She’s had a solid year this year, too, but her only win came in a SUN allowance which she was dropped into for some reason. This is her first time going ten furlongs since the Alabama, but we know she can do it.

#6- Flickering Light (Maxmillion Farm, ridden by A Suarez)- Claimed from Team 7 Illusiosn in September of last year for $20.000 after competing in stakes, but never really having much success in them. She has raced four times in her new silks, all in N1X allowances, although the last two may have had stronger fields than some ungraded stakes. She ran well enough in those two for the trainer to give her a chance to establish herself again as a stakes quality horse. Flickering Light has been running with lasix for Maxmillion, maybe that’s the missing piece to getting her success at this level.

#7- Soviet Sensation (Mb Stables, ridden by D E Centeno)- This filly has run against her stablemate, Precise Performance, on several occasions, but has never been able to get the same level of success. Since running second in the Empire Distaff last October, she has only made three starts, and none were at the stake level. However, she is on a two race winning streak, so while she’s hot, she gets to challenger her stablemate again as well as a good field otherwise.

#8- Starship Qanon (TwinTowersRacing, ridden by F Geroux)- Yes, this is a rename now, but I did a little research and figured out it’s real name (p.s. Boo to HRP, while we know what Qanon means politically, it could also read as “Cannon” which is logical for a Starship to have). Since the SRF strives to be a professional publication (and “rename1654″ is not professional), this is how the horse will be referenced both here and in the recap until the trainer does rename the horse. Of course, this is a horse that has not won since May 2021, so maybe she will want to be known as something different. There’s a few in the money finishes there, and her last two races were fine to where maybe she gets in the mix here but it’s tough to put her on top.

Prediction: 5-4-1-6

— NS

Categories: Grade II, STAKES ARTICLES

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