Trainer Bill Mott spelled out how Royal Delta was doing Saturday, the morning after her gate-to-wire victory in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic. It was the four-year-old filly's second consecutive win in the race and Mott's third straight and fifth overall.
"She's G-R-E-A-T with an exclamation point," Mott stated.
Under jockey Mike Smith, Royal Delta jumped out to an early lead and stayed there throughout the 1 1/8-mile race. Mott said he was a little bit surprised that Royal Delta ended up on the lead so early in the race."That certainly wasn't the plan, but it was part of the plan," Mott said. "The plan was to let her run where she's comfortable, and she was comfortable in that spot. We didn't know exactly what position she was going to be in, but we thought that there would perhaps be a horse or two there. And certainly we thought that Questing would go for the lead, but she didn't show up on the day."Trainer Chad Brown said Martin Schwartz's five-year-old mare Zagora was fine Saturday following her win in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf.
"Another great ride by Javier Castellano," Brown praised the rider. "Both his mounts for me yesterday (Watsdachances, second in the Juvenile Fillies Turf) he put me in great position for the stretch drive and that's all I asked. Both horses fired for him, Zagora in particular. Her last quarter had to be :22 and change the way she came home. I'm just very, very proud of her race, start to finish.
"For her to be my first Grade 1 winner last year (in the Diana) and to win a race of this magnitude, she'll always have a special place in our barn," he added. "My entire staff just loves the filly and we're proud of her."
Beholder came out of her one-length victory in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies "in terrific shape," according to trainer Richard Mandella.
"It's all good today," the native Californian said Saturday morning at Santa Anita following his seventh overall Breeders' Cup triumph and third in the Juvenile Fillies. Rather amazingly, all seven of those victories have taken place at Santa Anita, including four in 2003.
"I spoke to (jockey) Garrett (Gomez) by phone prior to the races yesterday and told him I thought she'd make the lead pretty handily and that I didn't think any of them would want to run with her. The issue was getting her to settle and, the way it worked out, Garrett sure got her to do that.
"I watched the race from a box with (former rider) Julie Krone and we were rooting pretty hard for her. At the eighth pole I saw that filly of (Bob) Baffert's (favorite Executiveprivilege) come at us and I said 'Oh, no, not Del Mar again.'"
Mandella and Beholder had been stung in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante, where she gave up a 2 1/2-length lead in the stretch and lost by a nose at the wire to Executiveprivilege. On Friday, the lead held up.
"We'll give her a break now and bring her back here for the Santa Anita winter meet," Mandella said. "She's earned some time off. We can think about a possible Eclipse Award for her now and start dreaming about possibly winning the (Grade 1) Kentucky Oaks. It sure is nice when you've got one like her in the barn."
Calidoscopio, hero of the Breeders' Cup Marathon, was doing "awesome" Saturday morning, according to Saul Marquez, the agent for winning riding Aaron Gryder, who has also served as a translator for trainer Guillermo Frenkel.
Calidoscopio, the first horse to have last raced in South America and then win a Breeders' Cup race, will return to Hollywood Park where he spent the first six weeks of his U.S. stay and a decision will be made later on what is the next move.
"He came out of the race in great shape," trainer D. Wayne Lukas said of Juvenile Sprint winner Hightail. "He's a nice colt and he ran well. I liked his fight down the lane. I think he has a good future."
As for the immediate future, Lukas said, "I haven't given it a lot of thought yet, but he could run in the (Grade 2 Kentucky) Jockey Club (on November 24) at Churchill Downs."