News & Barn notes

Trainer Arnaud Delacour Looking For Continued Monmouth Success In Saturday’s Two Graded Stakes Races

August 31, 2018


Trainer Arnaud Delacour has two distinctly different objectives for two of the three horses he will send out in the two graded stakes races on Monmouth’s 12-race card on Saturday. 

With Care Lady, a recent private purchase by Lael Stable following a successful 3-year-old season in Argentina last year, he’s trying to figure out exactly what he has. The 4-year-old daughter Equal Stripes-Care For made her U.S. debut (and 2018 debut) on Aug. 2 at Saratoga, finishing fifth in an $80,000 optional claimer at a mile and an eighth on the grass. 

She will go in the Grade 3 Violet Stakes at a mile and an eighth on the turf (along with stable mate Armoire). 

With Special Envoy, part of the field for the Grade 3 Red Bank Stakes at a mile on the turf, he is trying to get the rugged 7-year-old gelding fit for another successful run through the upcoming Virginia-bred stakes program. 

“Care Lady probably needed that race at Saratoga,” said Delacour, noting the filly had not raced since Dec. 17 prior to that start. “Also, she ran behind a very slow pace. They went :50.2 to the half and she needs a little more pace to run at. 

“Hopefully we get that pace in the Violet Stakes and then we can assess her better. It’s not an easy race but none of them are easy at this level.” 

Care Lady won from seven furlongs to a mile and a quarter in 2017, capturing two Grade 1 stakes in Argentina. She is 3-for-7 lifetime with earnings of $197,168. 

“She was the champion filly there last year,” said Delacour. “She really runs well at a mile and a quarter, but she has won at seven furlongs so this race is kind of in between. What I want to see is a fair shot with a race at a fair pace. Usually you get that at Monmouth Park.” 

Delacour has already had plenty of success from just eight starters at Monmouth this summer, capturing the Regret Stakes on June 17 with Chalon and the Incredible Revenge Stakes with Amapola on Aug. 11. He has entered four horses overall on the Saturday card, which also includes the Sorority Stakes and the Sapling Stakes, both for 2-year-olds. 

Special Envoy, Delacour concedes, is in a particularly tough spot in the Red Bank Stakes with the likes of Synchrony, Irish Strait and Grade 1 winner Force the Pass. 

Following a nine-month layoff, Delacour was able to get Special Envoy started in a restricted stakes race at Laurel on June 23, where the son of Stroll-Diplomacy was a late-running second, beaten one length. 

A year ago, Delacour essentially started Special Envoy’s campaign in the Red Bank Stakes, where he was fifth. He then clicked off three straight wins in Virginia-bred stakes company. 

Overall, Special Envoy shows an 8-6-3 line for 23 career starts, all on the turf. 

“I need to run him here because I have him pointed the Virginia-bred stakes program that starts in three weeks,” said Delacour. “We did the same thing last year and it worked out well. I’m trying to follow the same path. It has been difficult to get horses on the turf this year because of the bad weather we’ve had. 

“But he’s a talented horse when he’s right. And he has done well at Monmouth (with a win and a second in three tries on the track’s turf course).  In 2015 he was second in the (then-Grade 3) Cliff Hanger Stakes there, so we’ll see how ready he is for this year.” 

Armoire, who sports a 4-4-1 line from 11 career starts, all on the grass, will be making her Monmouth Park turf debut.

Saturday’s first race post time is 12:50 p.m. The card includes a $150,000 single ticket guaranteed late Pick 5 on races eight through 12.