Royal Delta
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Royal Delta
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Royal Delta Cross-Entered in Classic

Defending Ladies' Classic winner is still more likely to stay with fillies.

Although owner Benjamin Leon is still leaning heavily toward the Ladies' Classic (gr. ) Nov. 2 for Royal Delta, he has decided to pre-enter last year's 3-year-old filly champion in the $5 million Classic (gr. I) as well.

Royal Delta was impressive winning last year's Ladies' Classic at Churchill Downs and likely will attempt to make it back-to-back victories this year, but Leon felt it couldn't hurt to pre-enter the daughter of Empire Maker  in the Classic as a second preference.

"He just wants to leave his options open," trainer Bill Mott said. "We're not leaning in that direction, but he said if it doesn't cost anything, why don't we do it? I told him, 'Fine, we'll cross-enter and look at it next week.'"

When asked what it would take for Royal Delta to change course and run in the Classic, Mott said with his typical dry humor, "If they scratch down to three horses."

Mott was thrilled with Royal Delta's bullet :59 flat breeze over the Belmont Park main track Oct. 22. "She looked great," he said.

Mott also was happy with this three Classic horses, Ron the Greek, Flat Out , and To Honor and Serve, who all worked over the training track.

"Flat Out lost a hind shoe in his work," Mott said. "He's OK, but it caused him to stay on his left lead. But it still was a good work."