Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott
sent 2010 Belmont Stakes winner Drosselmeyer and Royal Delta, most recently third in the
Grade 1 TVG Coaching Club American Oaks, out in company Monday morning on the
Oklahoma turf course, with the pair covering five furlongs in 59.04.
Drosselmeyer, second as the
favorite in the Grade 2 Brooklyn Handicap last time out, will next start in
Saturday’s Grade 1 Sword Dancer Invitational at 1 ½ miles on the turf, while
Royal Delta is under consideration for both the Grade 1 TVG Alabama on August 20
or the Grade 2 Woodford Reserve Lake Placid on the turf the following day.
“He’ll run over anything,” said
Mott of Drosselmeyer, who was second and third in two maiden races on the turf
in 2009. “I think he handles the grass fine, the dirt fine, and Polytrack fine.
The distance is important; obviously, he’s a 10-furlong kind of horse. We’ll
give it a try, and see how he does in good company on the grass and see what our
options are later on.”
In addition to the WinStar Farm
color-bearer, Mott also will enter Brous Stable’s Al Khali, fifth in the Grade 1 Man o’
War in his most recent start, in the Sword Dancer.
“But if we get soft ground, I am
not going to run him,” said Mott.
This morning’s turf work was the
first for Royal Delta, who is 3-0-1 from five starts, as Mott seeks to explore
options for the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan winner.
“The other filly in [the Lake
Placid], she seems pretty nice,” Mott said of Winter Memories, a resounding 4
½-length winner of the Grade 2 Lake George on July 27. “That was about as
brilliant a performance as we’ve seen all meet, to give her due credit.”
Royal Delta, by Empire Maker and
out of Delta Princess, who won six turf stakes – including Grade 3 triumphs in
the Beaugay Handicap, Mint Julep Handicap, and Locust Grove – broke her maiden
by 12 lengths on the dirt at Belmont Park last October. A dull ninth in her
2011 debut on the dirt, she rebounded to win an allowance on Keeneland’s
artificial surface on April 15 before going on to her victory at Pimlico Race
“The thing is, she kind of runs
over anything,’ said Mott of Royal Delta, who is owned by Palides Investments.
“The advantage of running in the Alabama is
that it’s obviously a very, very important race, much more prestigious than the
“We could run back in the
after that race we’d still have a month to the [Grade 1] Garden City, if we
wanted to try that,” he mused. “She’s run well enough on dirt, so we shouldn’t
rule it out. I guess you want to go where you think you have the best chance to
win. There are definitely options.”