Mott Pointing Royal Delta to Beldame
by Blood-Horse Staff
Date Posted: 8/27/2013 10:26:04 AM
Last Updated: 8/29/2013 1:42:19 PM
Royal Delta won the 2013 Personal Ensign.
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After her powerful victory in the Personal Ensign Handicap (gr. I) Aug. 25 at Saratoga Race Course, Royal Delta will prepare for the $400,000 Beldame Invitational Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 28 at Belmont Park as her final race before the 2013 Breeders' Cup World Championships.
Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott said that, like last year, the 5-year-old daughter of Empire Maker could be cross-entered in both the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) and Classic (gr. I). Besilu Stables' Royal Delta won last year's Distaff, which was then called the Ladies' Classic.
"She looked fine; she was good this morning," Mott said Aug. 26. "Looked like she's got another one in her. If she runs in the Beldame, we go to the Breeders' Cup. She could be nominated (to both the Classic and Distaff) the same way she was last year, but I don't think anything is written in stone yet. I think that would be a conversation for something closer to the race. I don't think it's something we're going to plan on now. It's an option."
Except for failed efforts to win the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) against males on Meydan Racecourse's synthetic surface the past two years, Royal Delta's record has few blemishes. She made amends Sunday for her half-length loss last year in the Personal Ensign, and her upset second-place finish in the Fleur de Lis Handicap (gr. II) this year at Churchill Downs after the World Cup turned out to be a springboard to a 10 3/4-length win July 20 in the Delaware Handicap (gr. I).
When Royal Delta finished her race in this year's Personal Ensign, the 18,706 in attendance at Saratoga greeted her with a standing ovation as she made her way back after galloping out. With Mott and owner Benjamin Leon next to her, Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith walked Royal Delta in a circle three times as the crowd roared.
"I heard them when she crossed the wire, and, obviously, I was standing out in front with Mr. Leon," Mott said. "And he was beside me, and as she was approaching, everybody was applauding, and I said, 'Listen to this behind you.' It made him feel good, too. I didn't have to tell him, but I said, 'It's nice. People still appreciate seeing a good horse.' To see the consistency; they're just very gallant animals, particularly one like her."
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