07/03/2014 11:56AM

Aigue Marine back from layoff for Robert Dick Memorial

Tom Keyser
Aigue Marine will start for the first time since finishing second to Inimitable Romanee in the April 24 Bewitch Stakes.

There are plenty of options available Saturday in the Grade 3 Robert Dick Memorial Stakes at Delaware Park, as 13 fillies and mares will meet in the 1 3/8-mile turf marathon. The $200,000 Dick Memorial and two $50,000 overnight stakes make for an interesting appetizer prior to the day’s main event, the Grade 2 Delaware Oaks.

The Dick Memorial is a wide-open race, but a few players merit extra attention. It should be noted that the Delaware turf can be expected to have some give to it, as rain was expected in the region Thursday night and Friday morning.

Aigue Marine, from the Christophe Clement barn, shouldn’t have any trouble with the footing, as she raced over various course conditions in France before being imported to the United States. She has been second to the battle-tested Inimitable Romanee in two of her last three starts, the Bewitch Stakes at Keeneland and The Very One Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

[Delaware Oaks: Get PPs, watch Saturday's card live]

Aigue Marine, a relentless galloper in her races, was unlucky to lose the Bewitch after taking the lead in upper stretch and being nailed by a head on the wire by Inimitable Romanee. Aigue Marine has been freshened since the April 24 Bewitch and has run well off similar layoffs in the past.

Modernstone, trained by Bill Mott, has raced twice in the United States after making her first 10 starts in Britain. Although her U.S. form isn’t eye-catching, she raced in traffic entering the stretch of her last start, a third-level optional claimer at Belmont Park in which she finished fourth. She rallied willingly that day and was beaten only a half-length for second. Manuel Franco will be in from New York to ride. Modernstone is his only mount on the card.

Trainer Graham Motion has entered Concise, Auld Alliance, and She’s Not Lazy. Of the trio, Concise might have the best chance, but it should be remembered that she had things all her own way on the front end while winning a first-level allowance at Belmont last time out.

::DRF Live: Get real-time updates and insights from DRF reporters and handicappers starting at 12:45 p.m. ET on Saturday

◗ Vegas No Show makes his 4-year-old debut for trainer Kelly Breen in the Carl Hanford Memorial Stakes, a race going a mile and 70 yards on the main track for 3-year-olds and up.

◗ The $50,000 Oh Say Stakes, a six-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds, looks like a nice spot for the Guadalupe Preciado-trained Favorite Tale, who showed speed before tiring behind Bayern in the Woody Stephens on Belmont Stakes Day.