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Anne M. Eberhardt

Royal Delta, To Honor and Serve Work for Mott

Beldame confirmed for champion filly while Woodward winner could go in Kelso.

Trainer Bill Mott, speaking Sept. 16, confirmed Royal Delta for the Beldame Invitational Stakes (gr. I) and said To Honor and Serve could compete in the Kelso Handicap (gr. II) after the pair posted separate breezes earlier in the morning at Belmont Park.

Both the Beldame and the Kelso will be contested on Sept. 29, part of "Super Saturday" at Belmont.

Besilu Stables' Royal Delta, breezing for the second time since her second-place finish in the Personal Ensign Handicap (gr. I) Aug. 26 at Saratoga Race Course, negotiated five furlongs in :59.24, the second quickest of 24 moves at the distance.

"A nice, smooth work," said Mott. "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 half-mile breeze, his first since his victory in Saratoga's Woodward Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 1.

"He was good; did it easily. Seems to be doing well," said Mott.

Mott originally planned to train To Honor and Serve up to the Breeders' Cup Nov, 2-3 at Santa Anita Park, 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%," said Mott. "We also have the option of just waiting for the Breeders' Cup."

Both the 1 1/4-mile Breeders' Cup Classic and the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (both gr. I) 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."