While perhaps not her “prettiest” win, Songbird battled out a tough Delaware Handicap on July 15 to earn her second win of the year.
Songbird, the darling of the nation after a nearly-flawless three-year-old season with a winning streak broken only by a photo loss to the great Beholder in the Breeders’ Cup, is back in action. Following up her first race of 2017 — a win in the Grade I Ogden Phipps Stakes in early June — Songbird focused her sights on Delaware Park and the Delaware Handicap, where she faced off against four other fillies and mares for a $750,000 purse.
Songbird went right to the lead on a hot, humid day, with Martini Glass and Line of Best Fit stalking just behind. Under Mike Smith, Songbird’s lead went unchallenged until the turn for home, when Martini Glass made her move and came up to put the pressure on. Songbird dug in and battled it out to edge Martini Glass for the win.
Critics were quick to jump on the fact that Songbird did not easily cruise away with this win as she had in the past, failing to display that brilliant burst of speed that’s carried her to massive victories in the past. Fans of the filly, however, look to track conditions, the fact that Songbird carried 124 pounds (that’s 8 more than Martini Glass) and Delaware Park’s deep surface.
We believe we shouldn’t be too quick to call the incomparable Songbird burnt out or washed up — a horse is a horse, after all, and they can have off days too. And hey — she still won the race!
Songbird is trained by Jerry Hollendorfer and owned by Rick Porter under Fox Hill Farms. Porter, a Delaware native, has been battling cancer for some time so a hometown victory is sweet indeed.
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