Lovely Maria Back in Grade 3 Delaware Oaks
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The Grade 3, $300,000 Delaware Oaks is the featured race July 9 at Delaware Park, as a field of eight, led by Kentucky Oaks winner, Lovely Maria, is set to contest the 1 1/16 mile race.
At even money on the morning line, Lovely Maria looms large after collecting consecutive grade 1 victories in the Ashland Stakes and Kentucky Oaks within four weeks last spring. The Larry Jones trainee has won 4 of 8 career starts for earnings of $973,000, and has been training forwardly at Delaware Park since June 7. The daughter of Majesticperfection will be ridden by regular rider, Kerwin Clark, and break from post five. Only one other starter in the field – Peace and War - has won a graded stakes race.
Jones saddles second choice as well
At 5/1 morning line odds, White Clover is a distant second choice after winning the Our Mims Stakes June 3 at Delaware - her third win in eight career starts. Also trained by Larry Jones, White Clover is an improving filly, but will have to take monumental strides forward to challenge her stablemate. Jockey Michael Ritvo gets the call breaking from post six.
Grade 1 winner tries to get back on track
Peace and War (6/1), won the Grade 1 Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland in October as a two year-old, but was trounced by Lovely Maria in the Ashland, finishing seventh, and ran eighth in the Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs May 3. The Graham Motion trainee finished second behind White Clover in the Our Mims Stakes and gets the services of John Velazquez in the irons.