07/07/2009 11:00PM

Kentucky trainers trying Delaware Park


Last weekend s closing of Churchill Downs, combined with limited opportunities to race at a shortened Ellis Park meet, has meant an influx of new trainers to Delaware Park for the summer.

Neil Howard, Helen Pitts, Steve Margolis, and Wally Dollase will all have between 10 and 22 horses stabled on the grounds. The most immediate impact, however, might come from the barn of Brad Cox, who is bringing in about a dozen, including a potential starter for next weekend s $1 million Delaware Handicap in Temple Street.

The 5-year-old Temple Street, claimed for $15,000 last November, had sprinted in 12 straight races, including a close second in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff, before Cox experimented by stretching her out to 1 1/8 miles for the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis at Churchill on June?13. She finished third, beaten 5 1/4 lengths by Miss Isella.

The effort was encouraging enough that Cox is willing to give her a shot at the 1 1/4-mile Del Cap on July 19.

Julien Leparoux rode her last time and he said he could not see any reason why she would not go further than a mile and an eighth, Cox said. The Del Cap is a big pot, so that is a big reason to run her. The distance is a little unknown, but she handled the mile and an eighth and she really was not tiring, so I think she will get the distance.

Nominations for the Del Cap were released Tuesday. The list of 18 fillies and mares is topped by the superstar 3-year-old Rachel Alexandra and Unbridled Belle, a 6-year-old mare who won the 2007 Del Cap and was third last year. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Unbridled Belle easily won the local prep for the Del Cap, the 1 1/8-mile Obeah, on June 20.

Others considered possible for the race include Acoma, winner of the Grade 3 Mint Julep at Churchill Downs and the Grade 3 Azeri at Oaklawn; Euphony, whose six-race winning streak includes the Grade 3 Arlington Matron; and Swift Temper, runner-up in the Fleur de Lis and winner of the Grade 3 Sixty Sails at Hawthorne.