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WILMINGTON, DE – Cammarota Racing’s Miss Marissa took her rivals on a carousel trip around the track as she led gate to wire to win Saturday’s $400,000 Delaware Handicap (G2) at Delaware Park.
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Miss Marissa broke from the far outside post under Daniel Centeno as the 9/2 second choice in the field of six older fillies and mares, then outfought the rail-breaking Gibberish for command off the far turn.
Trainer by Jimmy Ryerson, Miss Marissa was allowed to post soft opening fractions of :25.15, :50.10, and 1:14.62 while avoiding any pace pressure down the backstretch.
Still holding command off the far turn, Miss Marissa kept her rivals at bay en route to a 1 1/4-length score, stopping the clock at 2:04.50 for the 1 1/4-mile fast dirt route.
“I talked to Jimmy before the race and the plan is like we always do, which is to try and break well and stay close to the lead,” Centeno said. “I knew there was not much speed today, but she broke really, really sharp today. After we went to the lead, she started galloping right away. She did it herself; she fired and she just put them away.”
Gibberish held off a late-running Queen Nekia for second by a 1/2-length. Dream Marie, the 1/2 favorite Bonny South, and Saracosa completed the order of finish.
Final Cut scratched.
Miss Marissa’s win was her first of the year and followed back-to-back runner-up efforts in ungraded stakes to start her 2021 campaign. The 4-year-old He’s Had Enough filly, whose first stakes score came in last October’s Black-Eyed Susan (G2), improved her record to 16-5-4-1 with $604,690 earned.
“She cruises at a relatively high speed and she does have the ability to relax, which is what she needed to do today,” Ryerson said. “That is the reason why we came. We figured she had won a couple of races at mile and 1/8 and not many had done that. Who has a better chance of winning a mile and 1/4 race than a horse that has won a couple going a mile and 1/8?”
Miss Marissa returned $11.40 to win, $6.60 to place, and $8 to show. Gibberish brought back $8.80 to place and $11.80 to show. Queen Nekia paid $15.80 to show.
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