Pachattack, Tiz Miz Sue lead field of six set for Obeah at Delaware Park
Flaxman Holding’s Pachattack, the winner of Grade III Doubledogdare Stakes in her only start this year, could be the favorite in the mile-and-an-eighth $150,000 Grade III Obeah Stakes at Delaware Park this Saturday. The 6-year-old mare conditioned by H. Graham Motion has been entered in the local prep for the July 21 Delaware Handicap, but her connections are keeping their options open for this weekend and beyond.
“I am planning on cross-entering her in the All Along Stakes at Colonial,” said trainer H. Graham Motion. “Whether she runs in the Obeah Stakes or not, she is still a strong possibility for the Delaware Handicap or the Robert H. Dick [mile-and-three-eighths on the grass on July 14]. It just depends on what I decide to do with her this weekend. We are fortunate in that we have a lot of options with her because she has proven she can do so much. We will take a look at everything and we will decide as we get closer to the weekend.”
Last year, the Kentucky-bred daughter of Pulpit posted a record of a win, two seconds and two thirds from seven starts. She won the Grade III Arlington Matron, she finished second in the Grade I Personal Ensign at Saratoga and in the Grade I Spinster at Keeneland, and she ran third in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic at Churchill Downs. She has a career record of six wins, five seconds and four thirds from 27 starts, with earnings of $786,893.
Motion has also entered Nancy Mazzoni’s She Be Classy in the Obeah Stakes. In her only start this year, the 5-year-old daughter of Toccet ran fourth in the mile-and-a-sixteenth $50,000 Winter Melody Stakes at Delaware Park on May 12.
“It was kind of a tough spot for her to come back in,” Motion said. “I think the mile-and-an-eighth helps her. Distance is a key for her. I think she should improve off of her first race this year for sure.”
Last year, three of her four victories were in races originally scheduled for the turf that were transferred to the main track at Delaware Park, including the John Rooney Memorial and the George Rosenberger. She has a career record of seven wins, two seconds and three thirds from 25 starts, with earnings of $206,608.
The mare to watch is Cresran Stable’s locally-based Tiz Miz Sue. The 5-year-old daughter of Tiznow has a career record on the Delaware Park main track of four wins and a second from seven starts. This year, the Kentucky-bred trained by Steve Hobby has a win, two seconds and a third from four starts, which were all at Oaklawn Park. In her most recent, she ran third in the Grade I Apple Blossom Handicap on April 13. Previously, she won the Grade III Azeri Stakes by 3-lengths on March 17. Last year, at Delaware Park, she won the $50,000 Winter Melody Stakes, and she ran second to the eventual Horse of the Year Havre de Grace in the Obeah Stakes. She has a career record of six wins, seven seconds and three thirds from 24 starts, with earnings of $464,709.
“She has been doing great Delaware Park so far this year,” said Hobby. “This year, she has grown up a little bit. She is relaxing better which gives us a lot more flexibility with her. We used to have to kind of fight her and get her covered up, but now she is a lot more professional. She has always trained and raced well over the Delaware surface, so we are hoping she continues to have success here. The Delaware Handicap is certainly in the plans, especially if she has a solid outing this Saturday.”
Another local contender to keep an eye on is Farnsworth Stables’ Suroof. The Kentucky-bred trained by Anthony Dutrow will be making her first career start against stakes company.
“She deserves a chance in this stake,” said Dutrow. “She has been impressive with her last two victories and I do not have any concerns with the distance with her.”
If the 5-year-old daughter of Empire Maker has a big effort in the Obeah Stakes, Dutrow would consider bringing her back in the Delaware Handicap, but only if she is impressive this Saturday.
“The Delaware Handicap is a pretty prestigious race that is going to attract some of the best in the country,” Dutrow said. “For us to consider that step, she would have to be very impressive in this race. Hopefully, she will prove to us she deserves that kind of chance.”
Suroof has a career record of three wins and a third from eight starts, with earnings of $95,111. In her most recent, she won a mile-and-seventy-yard allowance by two lengths at Parx. Previously, she notched a 4 ¼-length score in a one-mile Parx allowance on February 14.