07/06/2016 10:26AM

Eighth Wonder faces major challenge in Delaware Oaks

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Taylor Ejdys/Equi-Photo
Eighth Wonder must ship from her Parx base to Delaware Park for the Delaware Oaks.

The Grade 3 Delaware Oaks on Saturday is going to test Eighth Wonder on a number of levels. Not only will the $300,000 race be the toughest assignment of her career, but this will be the first time she has shipped from her home base of Parx Racing to run.

Eighth Wonder is talented but nervous, especially in the saddling paddock. She has crossed the finish line first in four of her five starts and was placed first in the Parx Oaks after Miss Inclusive was disqualified for a clenbuterol overage. Miss Inclusive also is entered in the Delaware Oaks.

According to trainer Dee Curry, Eighth Wonder has matured since her 2-year-old season, even though she can still be a handful.

“This will be her first time shipping for a race, so she’ll have to put her big-boy pants on,” Curry said. “I think Delaware is a good track for her to ship to. It isn’t too far, and it has a lovely paddock. If we want, we can keep her off by herself.”

Curry had contemplated shipping Eighth Wonder to Delaware a day before the 1 1/16-mile Oaks but in the end decided against it.

“We’re going to ship the morning of,” she said. “I thought about going down the day before, but I was concerned if we did, she might not rest overnight. I’m really not too worried about her shipping. She did fine when we sent her to South Carolina and back for the winter. I’m more concerned about the paddock and the new track.”

Although Eighth Wonder finished second in her lone start around two turns, the Parx Oaks, she came into that race off a six-month layoff. She has since come back to win the $100,000 Jostle, a six-furlong race at Parx.

“We’re back to two turns, so we’ll see how she handles that,” Curry said. “I think she can do it. I like the outside post for her. That way, we can kind of pick where we want to be.”

Curry has won 304 races in her career. This will be her second starter in a graded stakes. She finished third in the 2009 Cotillion at Parx with Key Lime Baby.

“I’m excited,” Curry said. “My filly is training very well.”