Tim Ritchey and Beverly Frazier’s Dancing Afleet upset the $300,000 Delaware Oaks (gr. II) at Delaware Park on July 13, winning her third straight by half a length while getting her first graded stakes victory at odds of 9-1 (VIDEO) .
The 3-year-old daughter of Afleet Alex closed with a strong late run to best 9-2 Ile St. Molly and 3-1 Tell a Great Story in the 1 1/16-mile event for sophomore fillies. Maracuya, favored at 6-5, finished seventh in the field of nine.
Jockey Joshua Navarro put in a well-timed ride aboard Dancing Afleet, who broke well and was able to secure a clear place fifth behind the leaders as the field headed into the first turn. Tell a Great Story was not so lucky, and was hung six wide while Ile St. Molly and Maracuya sprinted clear.
Ile St. Molly went a quarter in :23.79, but jockey Edgar Prado allowed Maracuya to race up a rail spot to engage for the lead for a half in :47.64. Those two prompted each other through three quarters in 1:11.40 with Tell a Great Story doing extra work in third to make up ground on the frontrunners after her overland spin.
Ile St. Molly drew clear coming off the far turn and Tell a Great story was in pursuit with Maracuya beginning to fade, but Navarro was gearing up Dancing Afleet for her run. The bay filly swung to the outside in third and then ground down the top two under strong urging as a mile went in 1:37.85, claiming the advantage in the final strides for a final time of 1:44.59.
Dancing Afleet returned $21.80, $8.60, and $5 while Ile St. Molly brought $5.60 and $3.20 with Tell a Great Story paying $3.20 another half-length back in third. Makayla’s Angel, Maddy’s Dance, Alli Leigh, Maracuya, Broomsage, and Diva Spirit completed the order of finish.
Dancing Afleet, bred in Pennsylvania by Barbara Brown and Chuck Zachney out of the Citidancer mare Mrs. Vanderbilt, now has three wins and a third from five outings with earnings of $248.950. All of her victories have come at Delaware, where she won a June 24 optional claimer going one mile and 70 yards by 3 3/4 lengths after breaking her maiden June 13 with a rousing 7 3/4-length score at a mile.