November 28, 2023

Red Ruby dominates Delaware Oaks; Tricky Escape captures Robert G. Dick Memorial

Red Ruby, seen here taking the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) at Pimlico on May 18, captured Saturday's Delaware Oaks (G3) under jockey Paco Lopez (c) Photos by Z

Sandra Sexton and Brandi Nicholson’s RED RUBY effortlessly drew off in the stretch of Saturday’s $300,000 Delaware Oaks (G3) to score a 13-length victory under jockey Paco Lopez. The Kellyn Gorder trainee faced seven rivals in the 1 1/16-mile contest, but lived up to her 3-5 favorites when crossing under the wire in a final time of 1:42.41 over the fast main track.

Prospective Lady led the way through the opening half-mile in :23.61 and :47.26 fractions, but Red Ruby took control entering the final turn. The Tiznow sophomore extended her margin with every stride and returned $3.20 for the victory.

Coach Rocks was best of the rest, eight lengths up on Mo Shopping who just kept her nose in front of Blue Union Rags to take third. Maya Malibu came next and was followed by Takechargedelilah, Blue Strike and Prospective Lady.

Red Ruby has now captured four of her six lifetime starts, including the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) last out at Pimlico and the Martha Washington Stakes at Oaklawn Park in February. Between those two came a fourth-placing in the Honeybee Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn. The gray filly’s career mark stands at 6-4-1-0 and she’s banked $438,000 lifetime.

Bred in Kentucky by Hargus & Sandra Sexton and SilverFern Farm LLC, Red Ruby is out of the Rubiano mare Caroni, making her a half-sister to Grade 3 victor Mo Tom, multiple Grade 1-placed stakes heroine Beautician and stakes vixen Bella Castani.

Caroni is herself a half-sister to multiple Grade 2 scorer Kashatreya, and this female family also includes Grade/Group 1 winners Sis City, Taisez Vous, Snappy John and Bint Pasha.

Two races earlier, Jon A. Marshall’s TRICKY ESCAPE split rivals in midstretch of the $214,700 Robert G. Dick Memorial Stakes (G3) to record a 1 1/2-length victory for trainer Lynn Ashby.

Broken Bridle attempted to lead all the way home, setting uncontested splits of :23.89, :49.04, 1:14.23 and 1:37.39. Meanwhile, Tricky Escape and jockey Chris DeCarlo were biding their time in midpack. As the field turned for home, Broken Bridle found herself engulfed by rivals, but Tricky Escape quickly separated herself from the pack and pulled off to finish 1 3/8 miles over the firm turf in 2:12.82.

Tricky Escape was sent off the 4-1 third choice and returned $10.40 for the win. Giovanna Blues rallied from last to take second by a length over Palinodie. It was another half-length back to Broken Bridle, who kept her head in front of Creative Thinking to complete the top four under the wire. Esquisse, La Manta Gris, Sweet Sandy and Good Roll rounded out the order of finish.

Tricky Escape is now 17-5-5-3, $448,480 in her career and boasts a trio of Grade 3 wins. Bred in Kentucky by Robert B. Trussell Jr. and John T.L. Jones III, the five-year-old mare is by Hat Trick and out of the dual stakes-winning Petionville mare Island Escape. This female family includes Grade 1 scorers All Fired Up, Competitive Edge, Awesome Humor and Emcee.

Marathon Farms Inc.’s O DIONYSUS just held off Vintage Matters to take the $75,500 Cape Henlopen Stakes under jockey Alex Cintron to kick off the stakes action at Delaware Park on Saturday. The Bodemeister gelding battled it out with Utmost throughout the 1 1/2-mile affair before stopping the clock in a new track record time of 2:25.99 over the firm turf. Trained by Gary Capuano, the four-year-old bay earned his third stakes score and improved his career record to 16-6-5-1, $295,099.

Sandwiched between the Robert G. Dick Memorial and Delaware Oaks was the $75,250 Dashing Beauty Stakes sending distaffers six furlongs on the fast main track. Sycamore Racing V’s JESSICA KRUPNICK upset the contest in a three-horse photo at 12-1 with jockey Trevor McCarthy aboard. Trained by Francis Abbott III, the five-year-old daughter of Uncle Mo stopped the teletimer in 1:10.84 while getting her nose in front Lake Ponchatrain, who in turn had a head in front of Cairenn on the wire. Jessica Krupnick earned her first stakes win in this spot and now boasts a 16-5-4-2, $203,058 lifetime mark.