Trainer Bill Mott confirmed Royal Delta for the Grade 1 Beldame Invitational and said To Honor and Serve could compete in the
Grade 2 Kelso Handicap after the pair posted separate breezes on Sunday at Belmont Park.
Both the Beldame and the Kelso will be contested on September 29, Super
Saturday at Belmont.
Besilu Stables’ Royal Delta, breezing for the second time since
her second-place finish in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign Handicap on August 26 at
Saratoga, negotiated five furlongs in 59.24 seconds, the second quickest of 24
moves at the distance.
“A nice, smooth work,” said Royal Delta’s Hall of
Fame conditioner. “Normal
for her. She was good. That’s been her second work [since the Personal
Ensign], and she’ll probably have another work next weekend, Saturday,
Sunday, or Monday, weather permitting, and then if all is well we’ll run
in the Beldame.”
To Honor and Serve took to the training track and turned in a 47.43
breeze, his first since his victory in Saratoga’s
Grade 1 Woodward on September 1.
“He was good, did it easily. Seems to be doing well,” said
Mott originally planned to train To Honor and Serve up to the
Breeders’ Cup in early November at Santa Anita, but now says the Live Oak
Plantation color-bearer is possible for the one-mile Kelso.
“We’re leaning in that direction but not committed 100
percent,” said Mott. “We also have the option of just waiting for
the Breeders’ Cup.”
Both the 1 ¼-mile Breeders’ Cup Classic and the Breeders’
Cup Dirt Mile are under consideration for To Honor and Serve.
“I think Ms. [Charlotte] Weber’s preference would probably
be to run in the Classic,” said Mott. “Obviously, everybody would
love to win the Classic, but we’re not locked in there. We could still
run in the Mile if we want, but we have time. We’re going to run in one
or the other.”