Morsches Stable Gentle Ruler will seek a repeat victory in the $125,000 Grade 3 Robert G. Dick Memorial at Delaware Park this Saturday. The 1 3/8-mile turf affair for fillies and mares has attracted a field of 10.
Last year, Gentle Ruler posted a 2 3/4-length win in the Robert G. Dick Memorial. The Kentucky-bred followed with a fourth in the mile and a half Waya Stakes (G3) at Saratoga on Aug. 4. She completed her season with a half-length score in the 1 5/16-mile, $500,000 Ramsey Farm Stakes at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 12 and a 2 1/2-length victory in the 1 1/2-mile Dowager Stakes (G3) at Keeneland on Oct. 20.
The 5-year-old, trained by Ian Wilkes, opened her 2020 campaign with a second in the 1 3/8-mile Orchid Stakes (G3) at Gulfsteam Park on March 28. In her most recent, she posted a victory by a head in a 1 3/8-mile turf allowance at Churchill Downs on June 6. She has a career record of seven wins, four seconds and five thirds from 20 starts with earnings of $787,269.
Trainer Graham Motion will be going for his ninth career victory in the Robert G. Dick Memorial when he sends Andrew Stone’s Mrs. Sippy postward. The 5-year-old daughter of Blame will be making her first start of 2020.
Last year, the Kentucky-bred ended her campaign by finishing unplaced in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita. She won the Glenn Falls (G2) at Saratoga and finished second in the Flower Bowl Invitational (G1) at Belmont. She has a career record of three wins and three seconds from 12 starts, with earnings of $322,706.
“We got delayed a little bit with her this year,” Motion said. “In Florida, she bumped her eye in her stall on a hinge, so we had to back off with her for several weeks, and then we had the whole COVID issue, so here we are.”
Since Motion won the Delaware Handicap with Power Play in 1997, he has always made a point of making sure he has starters in the big Delaware Park races. In addition to winning the Delaware Handicap and the Delaware Oaks two-times, the 56-year-old native of Cambridge, England, has won the Robert G. Dick Memorial eight of the 23 renewals. He has won with Guilty Twelve (2017), Real Smart (2016), Caprice (2009), Rosinka (2007), Alternate (2003 and 2004), New Economy (2002) and Bursting Forth in 1999.
“We tend to have nice fillies that fit this race. It is a local graded race and let’s face it, there are not a great deal of races like this around,” Motion said. “It is an excellent opportunity for these fillies and mares, so it is a race we always have on the radar.”
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I. Ortiz, Jr.