Carolyn and Fletcher Gray’s I’m a Chatterbox tops the $ 100,000 Obeah Stakes, at Delaware Park this Saturday, June 11. The mile and an eighth affair is the local prep for the filly and summer classic – the mile and a quarter $ 750,000 Grade I Delaware Handicap planned for Saturday, July 16.
Locally-owned by Jane and Harry duPont’s Christiana Stables, Obeah won the Delaware Handicap twice in 1969 and 1970 and was the dam of the Hall of Fame filly Go For Wand.
“We are looking forward to a big year with her,” said trainer J. Larry Jones. “Right now, the Delaware Handicap is our number one goal. Hopefully, the Obeah and the Delaware Handicap will set her up for some of the big races at Saratoga later on, but right now, the Delaware Handicap remains our number one priority.”
In her only outing this year, I’m a Chatterbox ran second beaten 1 1/2-lengths in the mile and a sixteenth Grade III Doubledogdare Stakes at Keeneland on April 22. Last year, the 4-year-old daughter posted a record of four wins, two seconds and a third from eight outings with earnings of $ 1,256,000. The Kentucky-bred won the Grade I Cotillion at Parx and Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks. She won the Grade I Alabama at Saratoga, but was placed second. In addition, she finished third in the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs. She has a lifetime record of five wins, three seconds and two thirds from 12 starts with earnings of $ 1,324,614.
“She is doing real well,” said trainer J. Larry Jones. “We considered the Ogden Phipps, but she sprained an ankle about a month ago, so we ended up missing a major work that we needed for that race. But this race fell into a great spot for a backup plan, plus we get a trip over the track before the Delaware Handicap. I like that side of it. Havre de Grace did win this race the year she was a Horse of the Year and before the Delaware Handicap. Chatterbox has never got a shot run to here even though she has been spent a lot of time here, so we are really looking forward to it.”
Since the Obeah Stakes was inaugurated in 1996, only the 2006 older female Champion Fleet Indian has won the race and followed with a victory in the Delaware Handicap. Two fillies have finished second in the Obeah and won the Delaware Handicap. They were Unbridled Belle in 2007 and Power Play in 1997. Three winners of the Obeah Stakes have followed by running second in the Delaware Handicap. They were 2011 Horse of the year Havre de Grace, Your Out in 2002, and Under the Rug in 2001. Trainer J. Larry Jones won the Obeah Stakes with Havre de Grace in 2011. He won the Delaware Handicap once with Island Sand in 2005.
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