06/01/2012 6:16PM

Belmont: Awesome Maria possible for Delaware Handicap

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Barbara D. Livingston
Awesome Maria had a six-race winning streak ended in the Ogden Phipps.

ELMONt, N.Y. - Trainer Todd Pletcher said Friday that Awesome Maria came out of her third-place finish in Monday’s Grade 1 Ogden Phipps in good order and could be a candidate for either the $750,000 Delaware Handicap at 1 1/4 miles on July 21 or the $200,000 Molly Pitcher at 1 1/16 miles at Monmouth on July 29.

Pletcher said since Awesome Maria has won several races at 1 1/8 miles, he doesn’t see the 1 1/4 miles of the Del Cap being an issue “as long as she gets along with the Delaware surface. We’ve had pretty good luck shipping in there.”

Pletcher has won the Delaware Handicap with Fleet Indian (2006), Unbridled Belle (2007), and Life At Ten (2010).

Awesome Maria had a six-race winning streak snapped in the Ogden Phipps in which she was beaten 2 1/4 lengths by It’s Tricky. Pletcher blamed himself for the loss, saying he didn’t “get enough done with her” in Awesome Maria’s morning training.

“In hindsight, I wouldn’t have run. I would have run her in the Obeah instead,” Pletcher said of the Delaware Handicap prep. “But she’s a Grade 1-winning filly, and she deserved a Grade 1 opportunity. She wasn’t quite as sharp as she was in Florida, and she was carrying 124 pounds. She didn’t run badly, wasn’t beaten that far, just not her top effort.”