06/24/2014 2:07PM

Wallyanna seeks fourth straight win in Stanton

Tom Keyser
Wallyanna wins the James W. Murphy Stakes on May 17 at Pimlico.

The first seven furlongs or so of Wallyanna’s win in the $100,000 James W. Murphy Stakes on the Preakness undercard may not have been pretty, but the final furlong more than made up for a couple of minor miscues early.

On Thursday at Delaware Park, Wallyanna returns in the $50,000 Stanton, a 1 1/16-mile turf stakes for 3-year-olds that drew 13 entrants. Wallyanna will start only if the race stays on grass.

“If it comes off, we are going to consider a stakes in Indiana,” trainer Michael Pino said. The $85,000 Snack Stakes, at a mile on turf at Indiana Grand, is July 9.

In the Murphy, Wallyanna bobbled slightly at the start, was a bit slow to settle, lugged inward in upper stretch, then barreled home under Javier Castellano to win by an expanding 4 3/4 lengths.

“He’s young, green,” Pino said. “First, he didn’t settle, then he did settle, and then Javier had to get him running again.”

Pino claimed Wallyanna for $35,000 out of a maiden-claiming win at Gulfstream Park in March. He is 2 for 2 while earning $78,600 for his new connections.

“We go to Florida in the winter to try to claim some horses,” Pino said. “We got Mr. Online there last year, and he’s a nice horse, too. If we can do that every year, we’ll be okay.”

Mr. Online, a 5-year-old turf horse, was a $30,000 claim. He has since earned $316,745.

Pino went on to say he thinks Wallyanna will relax better in Thursday’s race, and if things go well, he will then “look for something more ambitious” for him.

Also returning in the Stanton are the third-, fourth-, and fifth-place finishers from the Murphy: Thunder Strike, Allstar, and Special Envoy. The trio were lapped on each other in that race.

If the Stanton is moved to the main track, Joint Custody and Sea View Chico become major players.

Joint Custody has finished second or third in four straight open stakes – twice behind Kid Cruz – since winning the open Marylander and the statebred Maryland Juvenile Championship to close out his 2-year-old season for trainer John Robb.

Sea View Chico, trained by Larry Jones, was fourth, beaten only 1 3/4 lengths, in the Sir Barton Stakes on Preakness Day. The Sir Barton winner, Class Leader, is 3 for 5 in his career, and the runner-up, Life in Shambles, returned to finish third to Kid Cruz in the Easy Goer Stakes on the Belmont Stakes undercard.

DRF FORMULATOR FACT: No. 7 Slip By (15-1 morning line). Trainer Michael Matz is 13 for 35 (37 percent win rate and $4.25 ROI) over the past four years with horses in turf routes after winning their maiden in the previous start. Click for more details. Mike Hogan

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