07/09/2012 4:41PM

Belmont: Royal Delta works towards Delaware Handicap

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Reed Palmer Photography
Royal Delta will make her next start in the Grade 2 Delaware Handicap on July 21.

Royal Delta, who won the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis Handicap by eight lengths in her last start, worked five furlongs in 1:01.75 Monday morning over Belmont Park’s main track.

Trainer Bill Mott said that Royal Delta would most likely make her next start in the $750,000 Delaware Handicap on July 21.

“We’ve certainly been leaning in that direction all along and just monitoring her progress and well being,” Mott said. “She seems to be fine. She ran awfully big last time and we want to make sure everything’s in good order before we run, but it seems to be.”

Under exercise rider Rodolphe Brisset, Royal Delta went her first three furlongs in 37.95 seconds and came home in 23.70 while being kept several paths off the rail.

“It was nice and smooth and I was happy that it wasn’t quite as fast as she’d been breezing,” Mott said. “She’s obviously fit now – she’s had a race – I don’t think she needs to be going in 59 [seconds}. We’ve been working trying to slow her down actually.”

At Saratoga, Awesome Maria breezed five furlongs in 1:00.22 over the main track Monday morning. Trainer Todd Pletcher said he has yet to decide whether to run her in the Delaware Handicap or wait a week for the Grade 2, $200,000 Molly Pitcher at Monmouth Park on July 29.