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Royal Delta Looms Large in Del 'Cap

Besilu Stables' Royal Delta headlines the $750,000 Delaware Handicap (gr. II) at Delaware Park July 21, but the champion filly will have to fend off an old nemesis in Awesome Maria, who beat her earlier this year in the Sabin Stakes (gr. III).

Those two top a field of seven entered in the 1 1/4-mile test for older fillies and mares, a "Win and You're In" Breeders' Cup Challenge with the winner automatically qualifying for the Ladies' Classic (gr. I) Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park. The Delaware Handicap is the featured 10th race with an approximate post time of 5:45 p.m. EDT.

Last time out, Royal Delta returned to the form that saw her win an Eclipse Award as the champion 3-year-old filly of 2011 when she posted an eight-length triumph going 1 1/8 miles in the June 16 Fleur de Lis Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs. Her final time for the distance was 1:49.49, faster than stablemate Ron The Greek's victory over the same ground in 1:50.51 the same night in the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I).


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