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Jul 16, 2010

Del 'Cap features six top females



Stanton, DE (Sports Network) - Saturday's $750,000 Delaware Handicap has attracted six of the leading female thoroughbreds in the nation. The winner of the 1 1/4-mile race gains automatic entry into this year's Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic at Churchill Downs.

Leading the field for the 73rd Del 'Cap is Candy DeBartolo's Life At Ten, winner of her last five starts. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the five-year-old mare will be ridden by John Velazquez from post six.

Perfect in three starts this year, Life At Ten is coming off a victory in the Ogden Phipps Handicap at Belmont Park on June 12. In February she captured the Rare Treat Stakes at Aqueduct and followed with a win of the Sixty Sails at Hawthorne in April.

"This mare never really had the opportunity to run in a Grade I and we just felt like the Phipps was the right spot for her at that time," said Pletcher. "We did strongly consider running in the Obeah as a prep for this race, but the Grade I was just too enticing. We were fortunate enough to win and we were very happy about that. This year, we have had a bit of luck running horses over a track for the first time, and I do not think having a race over the Delaware surface is as important now as it was a few years back."

As a four-year-old Life At Ten closed 2009 with consecutive wins in an allowance race and the Snit Stakes. She has won six of 13 career starts for $459,267.

"A couple of times last year, we ran her a little bit short of her best distances," Pletcher commented. "Once she got into a good steady rhythm and since we have been able to keep her at a nice series of longer races, she has really developed into what we were hoping she could be."

Pletcher has won the Del 'Cap three previous times, Irving's Baby (2001), Fleet Indian (2006) and Unbridled Belle (2007).

"It has always been a very good race for us and we have been forunate enough to have very good luck in the Delaware Handicap," said Pletcher. "We have run nice mares in this race before and we think we are bringing a good one back this time who obviously is in very good form. So we are really looking forward to this race."

Local winner Miss Singhsix comes back to Delaware after last month's win of the Obeah Stakes at the track. The five-year-old mare will start from post two with Jose Valdivia, Jr. again riding.

"The race over the track definitely helps," stated trainer Marty Wolfson," and the mile and a quarter will help her as well. Distance for this mare is really no problem and the further she goes the more effective she will be."

Owned by Team Valor, Miss Singhsix won Delaware Park's $150,000 Obeah Stakes by a neck on June 12. Fleet Indian won both the Obeah and Del 'Cap in 2006.

Miss Singhsix finished third to Life At Ten in the Sixty Sails Handicap after a third in the Rampart Stakes at Gulfstream in March and February's victory at Laurel Park of the Maryland Racing Media Stakes.

She has a career record of five wins in 19 starts with earnings of $317,138.

Here is the complete field for the Del 'Cap in post position order: Funny Moon, Alan Garcia, 7-2; Miss Singhsix, Jose Valdivia, Jr., 5-1; Milwaukee Appeal, Stewart Elliott, 2-1; Million Seller, Jeremy Rose, 15-1; Miss Match, Brian Hernandez, Jr., 12-1 and Life At Ten, John Velazquez, 8-5.

Five of horse racing's finest were honored Wednesday with their induction into the Delaware Park Wall of Fame.

The class of 2010 consists of two-time Del 'Cap winner Obeah, Hall of Fame trainer Frank Whiteley, Jr., Hall of Fame jockey Angel Cordero, Jr., Bohemia Stable of Mrs. Richard C. DuPont and the late Robert G. Dick of the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission.

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