Gulfstream Park set an all-time Florida Derby day handle record March 29 when $26.8 million was wagered on the live program highlighted by the 63rd edition of the grade I event sponsored by Besilu Stables.
Superstar mare Royal Delta easily dominated the older female division and notched her third straight Eclipse Award by virtue of three impressive graded stakes victories last year, one of which was grade I.
In the older female Eclipse Award category, two-time champion Royal Delta is the standout finalist, while other impressive mares Joyful Victory and Tiz Miz Sue attempt to make a case with their 2013 grade I accomplishments.
Highlights from the career of dual champion Royal Delta. view slideshow
The connections of two-time champion Royal Delta have announced that the 5-year-old daughter of Empire Maker has been retired and will be bred to Galileo.
Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott oversaw Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) contenders Royal Delta and Close Hatches as they stretched their legs at Santa Anita on Oct. 29 after arriving from New York the day before.
Two-time champion Royal Delta sizzled four furlongs in :46.50 before the maintenance break at Belmont Park Oct 12 as she prepped for an attempt at her third straight Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I).
After a powerful victory in the Aug. 25 Personal Ensign (gr. I) at Saratoga, Royal Delta will prepare for $400,000 Beldame Invitational Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 28 at Belmont Park.
Besilu Stables' two-time champion Royal Delta continued on her path toward a third crown with an easy victory in the Personal Ensign Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 25.
Champion racemare Royal Delta aims for a title defense July 20 in the $750,000 Delaware Handicap (gr. I), seeking redemption after a five-length loss in the June 15 Fleur de Lis Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs.
Preparing for her summer-fall campaign, champion older mare Royal Delta breezed five furlongs in :59.60 Sunday, June 2 on the main track at Belmont Park.
Champion Royal Delta will seek a title defense in the June 15 Fleur de Lis Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs. She is expected to be joined in her trip to the Louisville oval by sales-topping stablemate Mr. Besilu.
Champions Animal Kingdom, Royal Delta, and Trinniberg lead an eight-horse American delegation set to fly to the United Arab Emirates, leaving Florida at approximately 9 p.m. on March 19.
Looking more powerful than ever, two-time champion Royal Delta tuned up for a possible return trip to the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) with an easy five-length victory in the $98,000 Sabin Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 17 at Gulfstream.
Gainesway Farm's Tapit has three graded stakes winners in the span of about two hours Feb. 2. His winners, all 3-year-olds, came at Tampa Bay Downs, Santa Anita, and Gulfstream.
The sophomore daughter of Tapit earned her first graded stakes victory and was just a tick off a track record Feb. 2 while rolling home much the best in the $150,000 Florida Oaks (gr. IIIT) at Tampa Bay Downs.
After leading at every call in winning her first two career turf starts, Tapicat will try to earn her first black-type Feb. 2 in the Florida Oaks (gr. IIIT) at Tampa Bay Downs.
Fabricio Buffolo and Jacquie Basha have joined the staff of Besilu Stables, founder and president Benjamin Leon Jr. announced Dec. 12.
Besilu Stables has signed a multi-year contract as presenting sponsor of the $1 million Florida Derby and $400,000 Fountain of Youth, Gulfstream Park announced Dec. 12.
Benjamin Leon Jr. doesn't plan to shop at the 2011 Keeneland November breeding stock sale, where he was the biggest spender in 2011.
Even though there has been talk recently that Royal Delta should tackle males in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), the 4-year-old filly will try instead to win the Ladies' Classic (gr. I) for the second straight year.
Royal Delta blew It's Tricky away in the $400,000 Beldame Invitational (gr. I) at Belmont Park Sept. 29, drawing off to a 9 1/2-length victory under wraps.
Royal Delta will make her first start at Saratoga since winning the 2011 Alabama (gr. I) as the 124-pound highweight in the Personal Ensign Invitational (gr. I) Aug. 26.
Besilu Stables' Royal Delta held off a late challenger to win the $750,000 Delaware Handicap (gr. II) by a neck at Delaware Park July 21, but it wasn't the nemesis everyone thought she'd face near the wire.
Besilu Stables' Royal Delta headlines the $750,000 Delaware Handicap (gr. II) at Delaware Park July 21, but the champion filly will have to fend off an old nemesis in Awesome Maria.
Benjamin Leon Jr. is ready for his international adventure with Royal Delta. The 4-year-old daughter of Empire Maker is scheduled to run in the 17th edition of the $10 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) March 31.
Royal Delta, the champion 3-year-old filly of 2011, will make her 2012 debut in the Sabin Stakes (gr. III) "barring any complications," according to the Daily Racing Form.
Champion Royal Delta works six furlongs in 1:16.30 Feb. 9 at Payson Park on her way toward the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I). At Palm Meadows, Godolphin's Consortium drills a half-mile in :50.90.
Royal Delta had a huge year in 2011, both on the racetrack and in the auction ring, and the filly will kick off 2012 with an Eclipse Award as new owner Ben Leon Jr. points her toward greater accomplishments.
Fueled by well-bred horses owned by the late Edward P. "Ned" Evans, the market at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale burned white-hot during its opening session.
Not everybody was shopping for items in the wildly popular new Missoni collection at Target stores Sept. 13. In Lexington, many people were busy buying horses at Keeneland.
Catherine Parke of Valkyre Stud wasn't thinking about an exotic vacation or buying a new car after selling a Bernardini filly for $1.2 million during the third session of the Keeneland September yearling auction.
Benjamin Leon Jr.'s Besilu Stable went to $1.2 million to acquire a Bernardini filly (Hip No. 307, consigned by Valkyre Stud) produced from the Smart Strike mare Silk n' Sapphire at Keeneland's September yearling sale.
With domestic buyers, like Benjamin Leon Jr. (shown here), playing aggressively at the top of the market, the Keeneland September yearling sale got off to a promising start Sept. 11 in Lexington.
Besilu Stables paid $775,000 each for the two top-priced fillies during opening day of the Keeneland September yearling sale.
The gross fell 38.3% during the select yearling auction, which had enjoyed upswings in 2009.
A big bay colt by A.P. Indy out of grade I winner Maryfield sold for $1.2 million and began the second session of the Fasig-Tipton Select with a bang.
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