Jaywalk wins at Churchill Downs

Joel Rosario rides Jaywalk to victory in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies horse race at Churchill Downs, Friday, Nov. 2, 2018, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Eclipse Award Winning Jaywalk will look for her first victory of 2019 in the Grade III Delaware Oaks at Delaware Park on Saturday.

The 68th running of the 1 1/8-mile, $300,000 DelOaks is the middle leg of three Grade III races run in Stanton on Saturday, along with turf stakes in the Kent and Robert G. Dick Memorial.

Jaywalk, trained by Jason Servis, was installed as a 6-5 morning line favorite as the only hose in the field of 7 three-year-old fillies to win a graded stakes.

She won the ungraded White Clay Creek Stakes last August in Delaware, before claiming back-to-back Grade I races: The Frizette at Belmont Park, and the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs. 

Those two races would end a 4-race winning streak, and she's struggled to find the same form in 2019.

Jaywalk made her debut in March's Grade 2 Devona Dale at Gulfstream Park in Florida, where she pressed the pace, as opposed to her Grade I wire-to-wire victories last year, and fell back in the last 3/16s of the mile-long race.

She led the Grade I Ashland at Kentucky's Keeneland for the first half-mile, but eventually relented the lead to finish third, beaten 2 lengths.

The Kentucky Oaks were next, and she came in at the start, and ultimately was forced into a wide trip before being disqualified to 13th place.

She'll get a new jockey, as Joe Bravo takes the mount on a horse that will also wear blinkers for the first time, usually a move made to focus a speed horse early in a race.

The top local contiender figures to be 5-2 Fashion Faux Pas, who claimed the Light Hearted Stakes, the local prep for this race, by 14 1/2 lengths over Our Super Freak, who is also in the field.

Our Super Freak led for the opening quarter-mile of the Light Hearted, before being passed and steadily run away from, although she did hold on for 2nd place.

Alavina (7-2) is also coming off a stakes win, in the ungraded Parx Spring Oaks north of Philadelphia. It was her third victory in four attempts, and the 8 1/4 length victory was her first in a stakes race. 

Gotta Be Strong, a co-owned entry with Our Super Freak, won a Pennsylvania-bred stakes at Penn National two back, while Ukkaya (12-1), claimed a $100,000 stakes at Aqueduct in New York back in January, but is 1-for-5 since.

Afleet Destiny, who has finished in the money just once in 5 races in 2019, completes the field of 7.

The race before the Delaware Oaks is the 65th running of the Kent Stakes, a 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds on the turf.

Todd Pletcher-trained Empire of War is the lukewarm 3-1 favorite in the field of 10.

Empire finished 2nd as a beaten-favorite in the Tale of the Cat Stakes at New Jersey's Monmouth Park back on June 1.

He joins 5-1 Eons, the winner of the Stanton Stakes, Delaware Park's prep for the Kent, as the only turf stakes winners in the field.

6-1 Award Winner could be a horse to watch, coming off an impressive 3/4 length victory in a $87,000 turf allowance at Churchill Downs, and has that victory and a second in two career races on turf.

Solidify, from Fair Hill-based H. Graham Motion, is the second choice, he's struggled breaking out of the gate in his last two starts, but one of them was a victory in the Grade III Grey Stakes on the synthetic surface at Woodbine Park in Ontario.

After the DelCap is the 1 3/8-mile Robert G. Dick Memorial, which elicited a field of 11 entrants.

Gentle Ruler and Gaining figure to be the top betting choices after finishing 1-2 in the 1 1/2-mile Keertana at Churchill Downs 6 weeks ago.

Osare will break from the 10-post, and will make his second start of the year after ending 2018 with a win in the $300,000 Dueling Ground Oaks at Kentucky Downs, and finishing 4th in a 1 1/4-mile allowance at Belmont Park on May 19.

Coachwhip, with Corey Lanerie aboard, stretches out, and goes back to turf, after winning the 1 1/8-mile, Grade III Matron at Arlington Park last time out.

Besides the trio of Grade III races, there is also the $75,000 Cape Henlopen Stakes at 1 1/2 miles on the turf, and the $50,000 Carl Hanford Memorial Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on the dirt, that will take place earlier in the card.

The 9-race card is scheduled to begin at 1:15 at Delaware Park, with the Cape Henlopen beginning the 5 stakes races at 2:54, and the Delaware Oaks slated for a 4:37 start as the 7th race.

The main event of Delaware Park's season, the Grade II Delaware Handicap, is set for Saturday, July 13.

WDEL/Delaware SportsZone Sports Director. National Sports Media Association's Delaware Sportscaster of the Year (2013).