Trainer Anthony Dutrow seems to have the $400,000 Delaware Oaks surrounded. Dutrow conditions three of the seven 3-year-old fillies in the field for the 1 1/16-mile test July 14 at Delaware Park, including the highweight Grace Hall.
Grace Hall is by far the most accomplished runner in the Delaware Oaks this year. The Empire Maker filly has never run worse than third in her seven lifetime starts, and tipped her hand last year when winning the Spinaway Stakes in her second start. Grace Hall ran second in the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies to finish the 2011 season, and has come back to take the Gulfstream Oaks and run third in the Kentucky Oaks. Grace Hall will be spotting her foes from four to six pounds in the Delaware Oaks. She has earned $900,000 at the races.
Coupled in the wagering with Grace Hall will be Singlet, also trained by Dutrow and co-owned by Michael Dubb. Dubb co-owns Grace Hall with Bethlehem Stables and The Elkstone Group, while Larry Brafman and Daniel Ryan co-own Singlet with Dubb. Singlet, by Real Quiet, won both the Dearly Precious Stakes and the Xtra Heat Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack this year before rolling a pair of fourths in the Comely Stakes and the Just Smashing Stakes in her most recent starts. Singlet has won four of seven in her career for $184,644.
Dutrow's third entrant is Wicked Mizz, winner of the Go For Wand Stakes at Delaware in her most recent outing June 9. Wicked Mizz has won half of her four lifetime starts and will be stepping up to graded stakes company for the first time for Green Lantern Stables.
Amie's Dini comes into the Oaks off an eighth in the Kentucky Oaks for trainer Ron Moquett and owners Mike Walker and Lou Sutterfield. Amie's Dini, a daughter of Bandini , ran second in the Fantasy Stakes and the Honeybee Stakes at Oaklawn Park and won the Martha Washington Stakes over that strip earlier this season. She has won three of eight races and $193,896.
Todd Pletcher sends out Morrow Cove for Paul Pompa Jr. in the Oaks. Morrow Cove scored in an allowance event at Delaware at the Oaks distance in May for her second lifetime win. Her only stakes effort resulted in a seventh-place finish in the Instant Racing Stakes at Oaklawn in April. The daughter of Yes It's True will need to take a major step forward if she is to win the Oaks.
West Coast invader Via Villaggio figures to spice up the event. By Bernardini , the Jerry Holldendorfer trainee most recently ran third in the Hollywood Oaks June 23. One race earlier, she scored in the Railbird Stakes in May. She has already started 11 times, winning three and earning $139,070.
Aubby K rounds out the field for trainer Ralph Nicks. She was most recently third in the TVG Acorn Stakes after winning an allowance/optional claiming event at Gulfstream Park.