Exotics Plays for the 2022 Delaware Handicap

July 7th, 2022

A total of seven fillies and mares will run 1 1/4 miles in the lucrative $500,000 Delaware H. (G2) on Saturday. #4 Battle Bling (3-1) was a fantastic claim for conditioner Rob Atras in December and gets top billing as the key in my exotics wagers on Saturday.

Battle Bling made her first start for her new connections a winning one in her 2022 debut when annexing the Ladies S. at Aqueduct, and the miss has run well in four subsequent stakes assignments since. By Vancouver, the four-year-old gave a fine account of herself when a respectable fourth in the La Troienne S. (G1) beneath the Twin Spires two back, and her runner-up showing in the Obeah S. on the Delaware Park oval last time out should have her ready to roll on Saturday.

The filly has thrived going long and I believe the 10-furlong voyage will be an ideal one for her. She has a measure of tactical speed and will likely track the action from the second flight from the start under the guidance of Kendrick Carmouche. She is one of my best bets for the weekend.

I will use a trio of ladies under my top pick, including Shug McGaughey’s #6 Bees and Honey (6-1). The 2021 Comely S. (G3) heroine makes her third appearance of the season, coming off a pair of lackluster showings this campaign, but I like both the extended trip and the aggressive placement for an oft-conservative conditioner. The Union Rags four-year-old has some obvious class to her and will pick up some pieces late under Umberto Rispoli.

Obeah S. victress #7 Miss Leslie (2-1) is two-for-two at Delaware and a deserving morning-line favorite in the field. The Claudio Gonzalez trainee is especially consistent and a most logical top-three inclusion with Angel Cruz retaining the mount.

#2 Onyx (10-1) is a wildcard in the field worth tossing in for value, in my opinion. The Dialed In five-year-old didn’t show a lot at nine panels at Gulfstream Park in her latest endeavor, but she will run all day and should be saving ground every step of the way with Jeremy Rose in the pipes.

Delaware Exotics Wagers

  • $12 exacta: 4 with 6, 7 ($24)
  • $6 exacta: 4 with 2 ($6)
  • $1 trifecta: key 4 with 2, 6, 7 ($6)
  • $1 superfecta: key 4 with 2, 6, 7 ($6)