Multiple Grade 1 starlet Dunbar Road tops a field of eight fillies and mares for Saturday’s $400,000 Delaware H.

Delaware Handicap

#1 Vexatious and #5 Always Shopping will establish the pace, which could be slow due to a lack of a confirmed front-runner in the field. #4 Bellera could also be forwardly placed, with #2 Dunbar Road using her natural speed to keep touch from the opening bell.

Delaware Handicap

#1 VEXATIOUS (12-1) — Sisterson trainee is winless since 2018 and is just 1-for-11 on the dirt in her lifetime. Mare has some ability and could challenge for a placing on Saturday, but it would be a shocker if she upset this field beneath Miguel Mena.

#2 DUNBAR ROAD (6-5) — Standout was a winner in her 4-year-old debut over allowance foes at Churchill Downs. Superb Quality Road filly is a two-time Grade 1 heroine poised for a huge 2020 campaign, and I expect her to improve in a big way second time out this season. Irad Ortiz Jr. coming to Delaware to ride says a lot about the Kentucky-bred.

#3 WICKED AWESOME (15-1) — Awesome Again lass came home in fourth in the Obeah S. most recently, the local prep for the Delaware H. Bay is a winner on the surface, but she will need major improvement to make the frame against this cast.

#4 BELLERA (7-2) — Grade 3 heroine makes the turf-to-dirt move following an unplaced showing at Gulfstream Park. Capable Bernardini filly is 3-for-4 at the distance, and she could peak on Saturday while making her third start since January. Bay is a logical exotics candidate under McCarthy.

#5 ALWAYS SHOPPING (5-1) 2019 Gazelle (G2) heroine has not been sharp from a pair of assignments in 2020. 4-year-old Awesome Again filly has excuses for both of her setbacks this campaign, however, and the bay lands in a good spot to reverse form and grab a share with Carol Cedeno riding.

#6 LUCKY MOVE (8-1) — Obeah S. queen earned a lifetime-best BRIS Speed figure in her Delaware debut and could contend with another step forward. Late runner has never missed the board from five outings at the distance, and she comes in with a bullet five-eighths drill, as well. Daughter of Lookin at Lucky has top-three appeal.

#7 SARACOSA (10-1) — Bay has run a trio of solid races since joining the Contreras barn in advance of the Delaware H. Azeri (G2) third finished a creditable fifth in the deep Apple Blossom (G1) two back, and she enters the affair off a very good second in a recent Churchill allowance. 5-year-old will be a key gimmicks horse for me.

#8 OVER THINKING (15-1) — Oliver trainee owns just a single dirt tally in her career and comes in with poor form this season. It seems difficult to endorse the mare on this occasion.

Delaware Handicap

  • $1 Superfecta: 2 with 7 with 4,5,6 with all ($15)
  • $1 Superfecta: 2 with 4,5,6 with 7 with all ($15)
  • $.50-cent Superfecta Key: 2 with 4,5,6,7 ($12)