07/08/2010 11:00PM

Delaware locals take aim at Blind Luck


The connections of locally based fillies No Such Word and Havre de Grace are hoping the home-track advantage offsets the talent of the nation's most accomplished 3-year-old filly, Blind Luck, in Saturday's Grade 2, $250,000 Delaware Oaks at Delaware Park.

No Such Word and Havre de Grace, separated by a neck as the one-two finishers in last month's Go for Wand Stakes at Delaware, are among six fillies who will challenge Blind Luck, a multiple Grade 1 winner based in Southern California.

Run at 1 1/16 miles, the Oaks goes as race 9 on an 11-race card that includes two $100,000 stakes: the 1 1/16-mile Barbaro for 3-year-olds and the Sussex, a 1 1/16-mile race on the turf.

No Such Word will be facing Blind Luck for the second time. She was beaten nine lengths as the third-place finisher in the Grade 2 Fantasy at Oaklawn Park in April. Blind Luck won the Fantasy by 2 1/2 lengths.

"Blind Luck is the real deal," said No Such Word's trainer, Cindy Jones. "We are just hoping that we have an advantage in training here and having raced on the track. Blind Luck comes from way out of it, so you never know if she is going to be able to run them down over this track."

Havre de Grace, 2 for 4 lifetime, just missed winning her stakes debut in the Go for Wand, a performance that convinced trainer Tony Dutrow she merited an opportunity in the Oaks.

"Based upon that performance I think she deserves a shot at this spot," he said. "We are hoping she continues to move forward and she has led us to believe that she will."

In addition to the Fantasy, Blind Luck has won the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks and the Grade 1 Las Virgenes this season. She will break from post 5 under a new rider, Joel Rosario.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer admits shipping across the country isn't ideal, but he feels Blind Luck can handle the assignment.

"You hate to ship into another track where we are not as familiar," Hollendorfer said. "It makes it that much more difficult because you aren't sure whether or not your horse will like the racetrack. But we have a quality filly, and I think she can adjust. My goal is to run well in the Delaware Oaks and then point her to the Alabama at Saratoga on Aug. 21."

Hollendorfer has had success shipping from California to Delaware. In 2008, he brought in Hystericalady to win the Grade 2 Delaware Handicap.