By Steve Haskin and Ron Mitchell
Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (gr. I) champion Royal Delta signaled she is on the right track to defend her 2011 title when she zipped a half-mile in :47.45 at Belmont Park Oct. 13. The time was the second best among 48 horses working the distance.
"She looks as good as ever," said Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott of the Empire Maker filly purchased by Ben Leon Jr. for $8.5 million following her 2011 Breeders' Cup success.
Another Mott trainee getting down to serious business was Ron the Greek, who went a half-mile in :48.25 in company with 2-year-old stablemate Armor. The work by the son of Full Mandate was the ninth fastest of 48 working a half-mile on the main track.
"We gave him a workmate just to keep him interested since it was his first work in a while," Mott said.
Ron the Greek is one of three horses Mott is pointing toward the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) Nov. 3 at Santa Anita Park. Mott is expected to also be represented by Flat Out and To Honor and Serve.
To Honor and Serve also worked Oct. 13, going a half-mile in :47 over Belmont's training track. Flat Out galloped over the main track.
"He's just a fast horse," Mott said of To Honor and Serve, a son of Bernardini .
Mott, who won last year's Classic with Drosselmeyer, is confident going into this year's World Championships.
"I can't guarantee all will win, but all have proven they can compete at highest level," said Mott, who plans to ship his horses to California on the Monday of Breeders' Cup week.