Alternate to Step it up for Susan's Girl

Alternate will try to turn it up a notch when she faces six rivals in the $175,000 Susan's Girl Stakes at Delaware Park on Saturday. The 1 1/16-mile race is the final local prep for the Delaware Oaks (gr. III), which will be contested on July 20.

Alternate has won three of four career starts by a combined margin of 20 lengths. In her first career start, Feb. 3 at Gulfstream Park, she ran third, beaten 4 1/2 lengths in a maiden special weight contest. Alternate rebounded to break her maiden by an impressive 11 1/4 lengths, going seven furlongs on March 17, also at Gulfstream. She notched a four- length allowance win at Keeneland on April 13, and in her first attempt against stakes competition, she won the May 4 Go For Wand Stakes at Delaware Park by 4 3/4-lengths.

Shop Till You Drop and Autumn Creek, who ran second and third in the Black Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) at Pimlico should provide the toughest competition for Alternate. Shop Till You Drop hasn't raced since the Black Eyed Susan, while Autumn Creek ran second in a mile Delaware Park allowance race on June 8.

The Susan's Girl field includes: Alternate (Ramon Dominguez, 119); Mayo On the Side (Mark Guidry, 115); Pass the Virtue (Alberto Delgado, 119); Martha's Music (TBA, 117); Note Taker (Jeremy Rose, 117); Autumn Creek (Brent Bartram, 117); and Shop Till You Drop (Harry Vega, 119).