The Grade II $750,000 Delaware Handicap was the sixth meeting between the four-year-old fillies, Blind Luck and Havre de Grace. In most of these meetings, the two have been necks or noses apart. The result in the Delaware Handicap was no different, as Blind Luck edged a nose in front of Havre de Grace just as the two crossed the finish line in the 1 1/4 mile race.
At the start, Life At Ten, the defending Delaware Handicap champion, briefly fought Thundering Emilia for the lead. Havre de Grace, with jockey Ramon Dominguez aboard, sat just behind them in third. Love's Blush and Blind Luck, under the guidance of jockey Garrett Gomez, trailed the leaders.
It is typical of Blind Luck to trail her competition, but this time she moved early, getting in front of Love's Blush after the first quarter. Life At Ten held the lead until Havre de Grace quickly passed her on the backside, just as Blind Luck began to make her closing move.
Blind Luck was able to catch up to Havre de Grace going into the turn and then the two battled one another through the stretch, leaving the remainder of the field in their wake. It was a tremendous stretch duel in which neither filly gave way to the other, each digging in more and more. With Havre de Grace on the rail and Blind Luck on the outside, it came down to the head-bob to determine the winner. Blind Luck proved victorious, getting a nostril across the wire first.
Life At Ten finished in third 18 1/2 lengths behind the winner. As Blind Luck and Havre de Grace separated themselves from the field, jockey David Cohen urged Life At Ten with a strong whip. She had nothing left going into the stretch and finished 3/4 of a length in front of Love's Blush and Thundering Emilia. She clearly is not the same horse she was last year.
The win guarantees a spot in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic for Blind Luck. No doubt will meet Havree de Grace again in that race set for November 4th at Churchill Downs.
Photo: Courtesy Breeders' Cup