Tuesday, May 03, 2011


Wilmington, Del., May 3, 2011 — When the field goes postward for the Kentucky Derby at 6:24 p.m. this Saturday, the Delaware Park connections will be plentiful.

The top local contender in the 137th “Run for the Roses,” is Pants on Fire, who will be ridden by the 2010 Delaware Park leading jockey Rosie Napravnik. Last year, Napravnik became the first female in Delaware Park history to win the leading jockey title by posting a record of 126 winners from 529 mounts with earnings of $3,058,683. After her mount in the Kentucky Derby, she will return to Delaware Park to defend her title. The 23-year-old native of Norristown, New Jersey, who has been riding nearly full-time at Delaware Park since 2006, notched her 1,000th career victory at Delaware Park when she guided Laughing Charlie to a win on October 27, 2010. Napravnik, who won her first career race aboard Ringofdiamonds at Pimlico on June 9, 2005, followed her historical Delaware Park season by becoming the first female to capture the leading rider title at The Fair Grounds and the first female rider to win the Grade II Louisiana Derby when she won aboard Pants on Fire.

Last year, Pants on Fire notched his first career victory at Delaware Park on October 4 by posting a 7-length victory in a one-mile maiden in his third career start. This year, the son of Jump Start finished third in the $65,000 Count Fleet before shipping to the Fair Grounds, where he finished second in the Grade III LeComte and sixth in the Grade II Risen Star and won the Grade II Louisiana Derby. The Kentucky-bred conditioned by Kelly Breen sports a career record of two wins, three seconds and a third from eight starts and earnings of $678,100.

Delaware Park mainstay trainer H. Graham Motion will likely enter both Toby’s Corner and Animal Kingdom in the Kentucky Derby. Toby’s Corner, who started his career by finishing third in a Delaware Park maiden on October 4, 2010, is coming off an upset victory of Uncle Mo in the Grade I Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 9. The Florida-bred son of Bellamy Road, has a career record of four wins and two thirds from six starts and earnings of $722,240.

Animal Kingdom sports a record of two wins and two seconds from four starts and earnings of $326,900. In his most recent win, the Kentucky-bred son of Leroidesanimaux posted a 2¾-length in the Grade III Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park on March 26.

Motion, who has 16 stalls at Delaware Park this season, has won a total of 21 stakes at the Stanton oval. The 46-year-old native of Cambridge, England, won his first Delaware Park stake when he won the Delaware Handicap with Power Play in 1997. Motion also won the Delaware Oaks in 2000 with Sincerely and has won the Robert G. Dick Memorial a total of five times.

Fans can watch and wager on the entire Kentucky Derby card at Delaware Park. First race post time for Churchill Downs this Saturday is set for 10:30 a.m., with an approximate post time for the Kentucky Derby at 6:24 p.m.

Locally owned Joyful Victory likely favorite for Kentucky Oaks on Friday

Joyful Victory, locally owned by Richard Porter’s Fox Hill Farms, will be the likely favorite for the 137th Kentucky Oaks card at Churchill Downs this Friday. Fans can watch and wager on the entire Kentucky Oaks card from Churchill Downs at Delaware Park. The approximate post time for the Kentucky Oaks is 5:45 p.m., with a first race post time set for 10:30 a.m.

In her first career outing, Joyful Victory posted a victory in a mile-and-seventy-yard maiden at Delaware Park on September 11, 2010. In her most recent, the daughter of Tapit posted a 7-length triumph in the mile-and-a-sixteenth Grade II Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park on April 10. Previously, the Ontario-bred, conditioned by Delaware Park regular trainer J. Larry Jones, notched an 8¾-length victory in Grade III Honeybee Stakes at Oaklawn Park on March 12. She has a career record of three wins from five starts and earnings of $380,100.

In 2005, Jones won the Delaware Handicap with Island Sand, his only starter at Delaware Park. He liked his experience at Delaware Park so much that he brought his entire stable back the following spring, and he has been coming back every season since. In 2007, he conditioned Hard Spun, also owned by Fox Hill Farms, to a second-place finish in both the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic. In 2008, the 54-year-old native of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, won the Kentucky Oaks and Delaware Oaks with Proud Spell.

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