07/14/2009 11:00PM

Pletcher eyes fourth Del Cap win

Hoofprints Inc.
Unbridled Belle, winner of the 2007 Delaware Handicap and third in last year's running, will try to give trainer Todd Pletcher his fourth Del Cap victory on Sunday.

Unbridled Belle can put herself and trainer Todd Pletcher into the Delaware Park record book in Sunday's $1 million Delaware Handicap.

Established as the 2-1 favorite on the track's morning line when entries for the Grade 2 race were finalized Wednesday morning, Unbridled Belle will attempt to become the sixth two-time winner of Delaware's most prestigious stakes. No horse has accomplished the feat since Nastique in 1988 and 1989.

At the same time, Pletcher can equal Hall of Fame trainer Henry Clark's record of training four Del Cap winners. In addition to winning the 2007 Del Cap with Unbridled Belle, Pletcher scored in 2001 with Irving's Baby and 2006 with Fleet Indian.

For the second straight year, the 1 1/4-mile race for fillies and mares has been designated a Win and You're In Breeders' Cup Challenge race, with the winner automatically qualifying for the BC Ladies' Classic on Nov. 6.

Now 6, Unbridled Belle won the 2007 Del Cap and finished third last year. She tuned up for this year's running with an 11-length romp in the Grade 3 Obeah Stakes on June 20.

Her six opponents in the Del Cap, one of three stakes on Sunday's card, include the versatile Acoma, a Grade 3 winner on turf and dirt this season; Swift Temper, second in the Gradeo2 Fleur de Lis at Churchill Downs and winner of the Grade 3 Sixty Sails at Hawthorne; and Icon Project, winner of the off-the-turf Grade 3 New York last time out.

The most intriguing prospect is the 3-year-old filly Livin Lovin. Trainer Steve Klesaris has cross-entered her in Saturday's Delaware Oaks, where she is the 2-1 morning-line favorite in a field of seven. Klesaris said Wednesday he was uncertain which race Livin Lovin would run in.

* It Happened Again, coming off a career-best 97 Beyer Speed Figure two weeks ago, and Sumo, second in the Grade 3 Sam Davis at Tampa Bay Downs in February, head a field of 12 3-year-olds for the Grade 3, $150,000 Barbaro Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.

* Julia Tuttle and Precious Princess, both prominent until the late stages of the Grade 3 All Along last time out, shorten up to 7 1/2 furlongs as part of a wide-open field of 12 fillies and mares for the $75,000 Light Hearted Stakes.