07/13/2006 11:00PM

Fleet Indian imposing in Del Cap

Four-Footed Fotos
Fleet Indian has won five straight, including the Grade 3 Sixty Sails at Hawthorne (above).

The lure of a $1 million purse is strong enough for Maryland-based trainer Dickie Small to bring three nice 4-year-old fillies to Delaware Park on Sunday. Small is also realistic enough to admit that even taking three shots against Fleet Indian doesn't dramatically improve his odds of winning the Delaware Handicap.

The Grade 2, 1 1/4-mile Del Cap, the premier event of Delaware Park's season, is the last of four stakes on a 12-race live card. It goes as race 11 at 5:44 p.m. Eastern.

, one of two separate entries from the powerhouse stable of Todd Pletcher, appears to have the other eight fillies and mares at her mercy in the Del Cap.

Her last two Beyer Speed Figures, 102 and 112, are the only triple-digit numbers in the field. She has won five straight races, including a pair of Grade 3 stakes, since November. And to prove she can handle Delaware's sometimes quirky main track, the 5-year-old Fleet Indian cruised to a 7 3/4-length victory in the 1 1/8-mile Obeah Handicap a month ago.

Two of the horses who futilely chased Fleet Indian in the Obeah were Take a Check and Sticky, both trained by Small. Both will be trying to make up 10 lengths on Fleet Indian.

"She was pretty dominant that day," Small said of Fleet Indian. "I'm really just taking a shot by running my fillies against her again. It's a giant step up for all three of my horses."

Although on paper all three of Small's fillies appear to have similar abilities, his best shot of springing an upset may rest with Dynamic Deputy, who has been freshened since beating Maryland-breds at Pimlico in late May.

earned a career-best 96 Beyer in that 1 1/16-mile race. A move forward in her first attempt at 1 1/4 miles - admittedly a big if - would put Dynamic Deputy in range of Fleet Indian.

"These fillies are kind of like 3-year-olds," Small said. "You never really know who'll like a mile and a quarter."

Dynamic Deputy, a daughter of Deputy Minister out of Dynamic Star, does have good bloodlines. Her full sister Star Minister won the Grade 2 Cotillion and was 2 for 3 in races at nine furlongs. Also, her half-brother Stellar Brush won the Grade 2 Ohio Derby and West Virginia Derby, both at 1 1/8 miles.

The 6-year-old also will take another crack at Fleet Indian after finishing second in the Obeah. She finished fourth in the Del Cap at 25-1 last year.

"The distance is just perfect for her," said Ned Allard, who has trained Friel's for Real to 11 wins in 28 starts. "She has run well over Delaware's track and we expect her to run very well in this race. Where that is going to put her, time will tell."

On the down side, Friel's for Real is winless in four starts this year and hasn't posted a Beyer above 92 since finishing fourth in the Grade 3 Next Move Handicap at Aqueduct in March 2005.

La Reason and Gallant Secret have recently proven competitive in graded stakes.

, also trained by Pletcher, was third in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom at Oaklawn and second in the Grade 2 Louisville BC Handicap at Churchill Downs. A 6-year-old mare, she consistently runs Beyers in the low 90's.

Gallant Secret was five lengths behind La Reason in the Louisville BC. Her best efforts came when she won a stakes over the Polytrack at Turfway Park in April and finished second in the nine-furlong Arlington Oaks last August.