Berned faces familiar foes in Royal Delta
by Najja Thompson
Set to make her first start since capturing the Grade 3 Molly Pitcher in July at Monmouth Park, Robert Masiello and West Point Thoroughbred's Berned will headline a field of seven in the inaugural running of the $100,000 Royal Delta for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on Sunday at Belmont Park.
A 4-year-old daughter of Bernadini in the care of trainer Graham Motion, Berned kicked off her 2018 campaign with a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie on February 17 at Laurel Park. Following up with a sixth-place finish in the Grade 3 Distaff Handicap on April 6 at Aqueduct Racetrack, Berned won the Serena's Song at Monmouth Park on May 12. She ran sixth in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps at Belmont on June 9 before winning the Molly Pitcher on July 29.
With two wins from five starts at the distance, including a win at Big Sandy where she broke her maiden as a juvenile, Berned will depart from post 5 with Joe Bravo aboard.
Dreamcall, a homebred for owner Mike Rutherford, will look to turn the tables after finishing second by three-quarters of a length to Berned last out in the Molly Pitcher.
Trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, Dreamcall has three wins from five starts this year including back-to-back wins in the Jack Bishop and Iowa Distaff at Prairie Meadows. Sired by Midnight Lute, Dreamcall has an impressive five wins with a pair of second-place finishes and two third-place results at the distance.
Dreamcall will leave from post 2 with Manny Franco in the irons.
Divine Miss Grey, for owners Corms Racing Stable and R. A. Hill Stable, is also entering the Royal Delta from the Molly Pitcher and looking to kick off a successful fall campaign.
A 4-year-old daughter of Divine Park, she will make her first start at Belmont on Sunday since running fourth in the Grade 3 Bed o' Roses on June 8. Since then, the Danny Gargan trainee won the Lady's Secret on June 30 at Monmouth before running third in the Molly Pitcher.
Divine Miss Grey will depart from post 4 with regular rider Kendrick Carmouche.
Also entered is Sneaky Betty for Super C Racing and trainer Claudio Gonzalez, who finished second in the Grade 2 Delaware Handicap on July 14 and followed up with a second-place running in the Lady Jacqueline at Thistledown last out; No Need to Appeal, for trainer Chad Brown and Waterford Stable; and Come Dancing for Blue Devil Racing Stable and trainer Carlos Martin.