Champion Royal Delta has been pre-entered to both the Breeders' Cup Ladies'
Classic and the Classic versus males, Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott told
Daily Racing Form Monday. The winner of last year's Ladies' Classic listed a
title defense as her first preference, with the Classic as a secondary
Owner Benjamin Leon, who purchased Royal Delta for $8.5 million at Keeneland a few days after her 2011 Ladies' Classic triumph, wanted to keep all options on the table."He just wants to be in position to have the option if at the last minute we change our mind, if there were a bunch of defections out of the Classic," Mott told DRF.On Monday morning, Royal Delta blitzed five furlongs in a bullet :59 at Belmont Park, posting the best of a dozen works at the distance on the fast main track. The four-year-old daughter of Empire Maker comes off a smashing 9 1/2-length romp in the Grade 1 Beldame Invitational on September 29. She has faced males only once before in her career, finishing ninth in the Group 1 Dubai World Cup over the Tapeta at Meydan on March 31, and that $10 million race is again on her schedule for early 2013.
Mott has already has three horses confirmed for the Classic -- Flat Out, Ron the Greek and To Honor and Serve -- and the trio were likewise in action during training hours at Belmont Monday.
Flat Out and Ron the Greek each drilled a bullet on the fast training track. The two posted five-furlong works in 1:00, tying for the fastest of 28 moves at the distance.
Flat Out just scored a repeat victory in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational. Ron the Greek, hero of the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap and Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap this season, exits a disappointing sixth in the Gold Cup.
Two-time Grade 1 winner To Honor and Serve, a lackluster fourth in the Grade 2 Kelso Handicap, breezed his five furlongs in 1:00 2/5.
In other Breeders' Cup news:
Godolphin announced its Breeders' Cup pre-entries in a series of posts on the
Grade 1 Travers dead-heater Alpha is confirmed for the Classic, while multiple Grade 1 winner Questing is engaged in the Ladies' Classic.
Grade 1 Forego romper Emcee is cross-entered to the Sprint and the Dirt Mile.
Fortify, runner-up in the Grade 2 Hopeful and third in the Grade 1 Champagne, has been pre-entered in the Juvenile.
Alpha, Questing, Emcee and Fortify are all trained by Kiaran McLaughlin.
The English-based Artigiano, a fine second in both the Group 2 Royal Lodge and Group 2 Vintage, holds an engagement in the Juvenile Turf for trainer Mahmoud al Zarooni.
Grade 2-placed Balladry is pre-entered in the Marathon. The Eoin Harty charge, who has been running in the Darley colors, would be making his first start in the Godolphin royal blue.