Two-time champion Royal Delta, who put it all together in an overpowering victory in the $750,000 Delaware Handicap (gr. I) July 20, makes her next stop in the Personal Ensign Invitational (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course, trainer Bill Mott said.
Speaking the morning after Royal Delta's 10 3/4-length dismantling of her rivals at Delaware Park, the Hall of Fame trainer said the win sets her up well for the $600,000 Personal Ensign at 1 1/8 miles Aug. 25.
"That was a great performance by her, and it looked like she was back to her championship form," Mott said. "She'll go in the Personal Ensign next. That's our plan, providing she's doing well and is healthy."
After winning the Sabin Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park in her seasonal debut, Royal Delta traveled to Dubai for her second try at the World Cup (UAE-I) and faded to 10th after racing on the lead. She subsequently was upset June 15 in her return to the races, beaten by Funny Proposition in the Fleur De Lis (gr. II) at Churchill Downs.
In the Del 'Cap, Royal Delta was able to put distance between herself and the field early and gradually expanded her advantage without need of urging from Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith.
Asked whether he was surprised when no other riders challenged Royal Delta early, Mott said, "You never really know. If we knew that, we'd map out the race beforehand. It looked like, if all things went as it looked on paper, she might be on the lead, but who knows she's going to open up that kind of lead? The way it appeared yesterday, nobody could get close to her."
Besilu Stables' Royal Delta has won 11 of 19 starts, including the past two renewals of the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (gr. I), while earning $4,251,126. Bred in Kentucky by Palides Investments N.V, the dark bay mare is by Empire Maker out of the A.P. Indy mare Delta Princess.