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Royal Delta: The Lady is a Champ


There’s an old saying in sports, “The cream will rise to the top.” Never has the idiom been more true than it is for Royal Delta. The two-time champion may have thrown in a few mediocre performances over the years, but when the pedal hits the metal, and the championship races really begin in earnest, you can bet your bottom dollar that the five-year-old mare will be up for the task. Just in case you were starting to question the daughter of Empire Maker’s dominance in the older female division, Royal Delta put on an absolute show in today's Grade I $750,000 Delaware Handicap. Given her cue early by rider, Mike Smith, she led at every pole in route to a 10¾-length runaway.


With no one else in the five horse field willing to take the race to her, Royal Delta was more than happy to assume command in the first of the ten panels. Opening up throughout the backstretch, the defending Delaware Handicap champ was about seven lengths clear of the rest on the far turn, and proceeded to pour it on down the lane. As Mike Smith geared her down, the stretch run of the history rich race was more of a one-woman show than a horse race. The 2-5 favorite cantered to the wire, finalizing the 1¼ miles in a very respectable 2:02.04.


Her Hall of Fame rider admitted that it was very much like it looked. "This is about as easy as it gets," Smith said. "When we turned for home my main concern was just to make sure I stayed aboard."


Another Hall of Famer, and winning trainer, Bill Mott all but dismissed her two-race losing streak coming into the race, and talked about her recent sharpness. "You can just put a line through the Dubai race, and she didn't bring her "A" game last time out. She had been training so well for this one. So well, we thought maybe she trained too well, but she ran just like she's been training.”


Royal Delta, who now appears poised and on her way to becoming a rare three-time Eclipse Award winner, won for the 11th time in 19 career starts, while raising her career earnings to over $4.25 million.


As for what’s next for Royal Delta, Mott said it’s on to Saratoga for the Besilu Stables star. “We're looking to go in the Personal Ensign at Saratoga for her next start."


Maybe she just needed a wake up call, or perhaps it’s a case of the champion just now gearing up at the right time of year, but Royal Delta served notice to the racing world that she still has it. She is the best older female in the land, and whether or not it’s an attempt at a third Ladies’ Classic victory, or maybe a first try in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Royal Delta will be a force to be reckoned with at Santa Anita. That is, after all, what champions do. 


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Older Comments about Royal Delta: The Lady is a Champ...

Tough decisions upcoming for Mr.Mott. Try and tie Goldikova's record, or take a shot at the Boys in the Classic. If she were mine I would take a shot at the boys in the Gold cup at Belmont and see how she goes. Then go from there. But Mr.Mott is a top notch horseman and knows what he is doing no doubt.
When it counts she reallys shows up in a Big way!
I cant wait to see her run in Santa Anita. I wonder what she will do, go for the unpresidented 3 peat or take on the boys in the classic. Yesterdays race was a joke, she looked like she was breezing and never had to dig in. She and Wise Dan are by far the 2 best American horses racing. (Sorry Fort Larnden and AK)
She bested Orb's time in the derby running like that! Just amazing
She was IMPRESSIVE. Very impressive.
105 BSF for Royal Delta and she was completely geared down.
I never thought she had to "come back" from anything, because I didn't think there was anything wrong with her, not since a foot bruise when she was three years old. I'll be very brief and say that nothing got in her way today. Lasix FreeRacing on twtiter reports that she may continue to race without Salix.
she probably could jane.she is that fast and she would be getting a weight allowance. mott would never do that.if he were to take a shot at the boys,it would be for all the marbles in november at santa anita.
Personally, I think she could go in the Woodward and win it.
When have we eer needed to race our horses Lasix???
Hope that they continue to campaign her.
In regards to what Mary said, Royal Delta certainly made a strong case for why we don't need to races our horses on Lasix. On a less serious note, Mike and Royal Delta looked like they decided to be the first to sip a cocktail and eat a treat, respectively, since no one else wanted to assume command of the race.

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as co-hosting the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


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