07/03/2003 12:00AM

Philadelphia: Shippers have edge


A pair of New York-based fillies bring a distinct class edge into the $100,000 Dr. James Penny Memorial Handicap.

Delta Princess, winner of the Grade 3 Beaugay Handicap at Aqueduct, and Affirmed Dancer, who was a neck shy of winning the Grade 3 Gallorette Handicap at Pimlico, are clearly the top contenders in the 1 1/16-mile turf race for fillies and mares.

Delta Princess, trained by Bill Mott, is 5 for 7 with one second on turf. The only time she failed to hit the board on grass came in her most recent race, when she faded to fourth over soft ground in the Grade 3 Just a Game Breeders' Cup at Belmont.

The John Kimmel-trained Affirmed Dancer has yet to win a stakes, but she has finished first or second in six of her seven starts on grass. She will be making her first start since her near-miss in the Gallorette on the Preakness undercard.

Although both Delta Princess and Affirmed Dancer are based at Belmont, this is the first time they have faced each other.

The only other horse with more than one turf victory is Kathy KD, a 4-year-old filly trained by Rusty Arnold. A deep closer, Kathy KD was sixth in her only start this year, an allowance race two months ago at Keeneland. She hasn't won a stakes in her 15-race career, but she picked up small pieces of the purse in three graded stakes last year.

Based on back turf form, Smokeumifyougotem and Willie's Luv are capable of an upset. Smokemifyougotem's two turf outings include a five-length win in an overnight handicap over the course last June. Willie's Luv came close to wiring a group of New Jersey-breds the only time she tried turf, last August at Monmouth Park.