Well-Traveled Bonny South Installed Delaware Handicap Favorite

Juddmonte’s Bonny South tops the 84th renewal of the $400,000, Grade 2 Delaware Handicap at Delaware Park in Wilmington, Del., this Saturday.  The filly and mare summer classic has attracted a field of seven.  After being shortened to a mile and an eighth last year due to the pandemic, the race will return to the traditional distance of a mile and a quarter.  The Delaware Handicap has been carded as the ninth race with an approximate post time of 5:15 p.m. ET.

This year, the 4-year-old daughter of Munnings is one for two. In her first outing in 2021, the Kentucky-bred trained by Brad Cox notched a head victory in the 1 1/16-mile, Grade 3 Doubledogdare at Keeneland on April 16.  She followed by running second over the same distance in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps at Belmont Park on June 5.  Last year, Bonny South had a record of two wins and three seconds from six starts including a victory in the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks and a trio of seconds in Grade 1 Alabama at Saratoga, the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico and the Grade 2 Falls City at Churchill Downs.  She has a career record of four wins and four seconds from ten starts with earnings $692,150.

“She is doing well,” said trainer Brad Cox.  “She is a solid horse. You never really have to make any excuses for her and hopefully with a good trip on Saturday, she will get the job done. We have run her at Fair Grounds, Oaklawn, Pimlico, Keeneland, Saratoga, Belmont and obviously Churchill and she has run well at each time regardless of distance.  She is a just a consistent and solid filly.”

Bonny South will be arriving in Delaware towards the end of the week.

“She is going to ship to Monmouth,” Cox said.  “We are sending a little string to Monmouth and she will be part of that group.  From there, we are going to ship her to Delaware the day before or the day of the race, so she will be there Friday or Saturday.”

A solid effort in the Delaware Handicap will punch a ticket for her to travel to upstate New York in August.

“If all goes well afterward, we will ship her to Saratoga and point for the Personal Ensign (August 28),” Cox said.

Trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. has entered both eFive Racing Thoroughbreds Gibberish and Ken Copenhaver’s Queen Nekia.

It will be a homecoming for Queen Nekia as the 6-year-old daughter of Harlington will be returning to the track where she has a main track career record of five wins, two seconds and a third from ten starts.  The Florida-bred has not raced at Delaware Park since her Delaware Certified Horse of the Year campaign in 2019.

In her 2021 debut, she posted a 1 ¾-length score in the Grade 3 Royal Delta going 1 1/16 miles at Gulfstream Park on February 20.  Since then, she had a pair of fourth-place efforts in the Top Flight Invitational at Aqueduct on April 10 and the aforementioned Phipps at Belmont on June 5.  She has a career record of ten wins, six seconds and seven thirds from 34 starts with earnings of $528,876.

“She has run well at Delaware in the past, so hopefully she will run well again on Saturday,” said Joseph.  “She was a proven solid filly before we claimed her back in December 2019 and she has gotten even better.  She has done more than we could have ever asked for.”

Gibberish has a career mark of four wins, a second and a third from 11 starts with earnings of $170,310.  In her most recent, the 4-year-old daughter of Lea ran second in the 1 1/16-mile Lady’s Secret at Monmouth on June 6.

“Gibberish is also coming into the race well,” Joseph said. “She has won a stake, she beat Queen Nekia once and Queen Nekia beat her and she is coming off a good run at Monmouth.  We feel like the mile and a quarter fits her nicely as well and are expecting a solid effort from her.”

$400,000 Grade 2 Delaware Handicap, fillies & mares 3-year-olds and up, 1 1/4 miles

1 Gibberish eFive Racing Thoroughbreds Saffie Joseph Jr Trevor McCarthy 118 8-1
2 Queen Nekia Saffie Joseph Jr. Sheldon Russell 119 3-1
3 Dream Marie Miracle’s International Matthew Williams Joe Bravo 120 4-1
4 Saracosa Chad Schumer Cipriano Contreras Emmanuel Esquiuel 116 10-1
5 Bonny South Juddmonte Brad Cox Florent Geroux 123 3/2
6 Miss Marissa Cammarota Racing James Ryerson Daniel Centeno 119 6-1
7 Final Cut G. Watts Humphrey Jr Victoria Oliver Jaime Rodriguez 116 12-1

The post Well-Traveled Bonny South Installed Delaware Handicap Favorite appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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