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News & Barn notes

Delgado Expecting A Big Effort From Grade 3 Winner Lightening Larry In Saturday’s $100,000 Jersey Shore Stakes

August 05, 2022

Trainer Jorge Delgado knew it would be a challenge to get Lightening Larry to improve after he came into his barn two starts ago, since the 3-year-old colt was already a stakes winner and had three wins and three seconds from his first seven career starts.

Consider the challenge met.

Lightening Larry, coming off a win in the Grade 3 Chick Lang Stakes at Pimlico in his last start on May 21, tackles a talented group of nine other sophomore runners in Saturday’s $100,000 Jersey Shore Stakes at Monmouth Park, looking to add to what has already been an impressive career.

The six-furlong Jersey Shore Stakes goes as the ninth race on the 11-race card.

“I noticed immediately there were some differences that I could make with him to help him improve a little more, but when you take over a stakes winner that is not easy to do,” said Delgado. “But I think those improvements have been the reason he has been so good for me.”

In two starts for Delgado since arriving from Jeff Engler’s barn, the Florida-bred son of Uncaptured-Moon and Son by Malibu Moon, was second in the Sophomore Stakes at Tampa and then held firm to win the Chick Lang by three-quarters of a length. It marked the second graded stakes win in Delgado’s career, which began in 2017.

Lightening Larry has been idle since then, however – a layoff of 11 weeks.

“It has been a challenge to keep him fit since his last race at Pimlico,” said Delgado, who has divisions at Monmouth Park and Gulfstream Park. “I gave him time off because that was a tough race and I didn’t want to come right back and give him another tough race.

“The challenge has been getting him to peak fitness and I think we are there.”

Proof of that: On July 16 Lightening Larry turned in a bullet four-furlong work – the best of 127 — at Monmouth Park in :46.1. He has had two works since then.

“he showed from that work that he was ready to go again. Everything else since then has been to keep him fit,” said Delgado.

Owned by Lea Farms LLC, Lightening Larry shows a 4-4-0 line for his nine career starts with earnings of $305,610. As tough as the field came up for the Jersey Shore Stakes, he is the only graded stakes winner in the group.

But the Todd Pletcher-trained Provocateur is coming off a third-place finish in the Grade 1 Woody Stephens and the Christophe Clement-trained Senbei, who has won five of six career starts and has four stakes wins, look formidable. Wesley Ward, Saffie Joseph, Jerry Hollendorfer and Cal Lynch all have proven 3-yearolds going as well.

“I was expecting a lighter field,” said Delgado. “But I am confident because he is doing well and that’s all that matters to me. I know he will compete.”

Chantal Sutherland will come in for the ride.