07/07/2012 12:47PM

Delaware Park: And Why Not takes big drop hoping to regain best form


After a promising 2-year-old campaign in which she finished third in the Grade 1 Spinaway and second in the Grade 2 Pocahontas, the filly And Why Not has been a disappointment so far in 2012. Badly beaten in a pair of graded races and a nonthreatening third in a listed stakes, And Why Not will try to regain her form and her confidence by dropping into a first-level allowance Monday at Delaware Park.

On class, And Why Not towers over her five rivals in race 8 at one mile on the main track.

And Why Not was clearly expected to have a spectacular career. The distinguished horsewoman Helen Groves paid $775,000 to buy out her two daughters, Helen Alexander and D.D. Matz, from the partnership that bred And Why Not at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale in 2010. A daughter of Street Cry out of the Grade 3-placed mare Alchemist, And Why Not was the fourth highest priced yearling at that August auction.

Groves, 84, is from the family that founded the famous King Ranch in Texas in 1833. King Rang began breeding Thoroughbreds in 1934, producing 1946 Triple Crown winner Assault and Middleground, winner of the 1950 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes. Groves bred 1983 champion filly Althea, who went on to win the 1984 Arkansas Derby, and owned Acoma, winner of the Grade  1 Spinster in 2010. She also happens to be the mother-in-law of Michael Matz, the trainer of And Why Not.

And Why Not began her 3-year-old season by finishing a distant seventh in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks. Matz expected she would improve upon her return to Churchill Downs, where she was beaten less than a length in last fall’s Pocahontas. Instead, she regressed, finishing ninth in the Kentucky Oaks, beaten more than 18 lengths. She improved to finish third of nine in the ungraded Go for Wand at Delaware on June 9.

The 74 Beyer Speed Figure that And Why Not earned last time out is close to the par of 79 for a first-level allowance at Delaware.

Her two most dangerous opponents Monday look like Final Escrow, who faces winners after a nine-length romp locally in a one-mile maiden special weight event, and Harbor Fox, who stretches out after showing good speed while finishing no worse than third in three consecutive sprints.