Race of the Week 2017

HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

She Did it Again: Royal Delta Reigns Supreme

I wish I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard my Dad say over the years, “The cream rises to the top.” I also wish I had taken all those nickels and placed them on the cream of yesterday’s Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic. Only the second back-to-back champion in the race's 29-year history, Royal Delta put a cap on Day 1 of the World Championship events with a bold statement of class and versatility. In what was thought to be the strongest of all the 2012 Breeders’ Cup races, the four-year-old daughter of Empire Maker proved with little doubt that she is the best female horse in America.
Surprising almost everyone, Royal Delta and rider Mike Smith went straight to the lead and carved out testing fractions in the $2 million, nine furlong affair. 
“I was a little concerned when they were throwing up those fractions, but she kept going and ran them off their feet,” said her trainer, Bill Mott.
A little concerned, but not too much so, as the nine-time Breeders’ Cup winning trainer could see that his big filly was running strong and would have a lot left for any challenges that might come her way. With the lack of any run from the speedy Questing, Royal Delta was able to maintain a working margin through fractions of 45.81, and six furlongs in 1:09.80. As the field, that included seven grade 1 winners, and two unbeaten champions turned for home, My Miss Aurelia and Include Me Out came up to the 8-5 defending champion with menacing moves, but it only gave Royal Delta the chance to show her class, and her heels, as she impressively fought off the challenges to win by a rather easy 1 ½ lengths over a game, My Miss Aurelia.
Final time for the 1 1/8 mile race was 1:48.80. Include Me Out finished another 1 ¼ lengths back in third, and was well clear of the rest of the pack. Questing was eased, but initial reports state that there is nothing seriously wrong with the filly. For Royal Delta, it was win #9 out of 15 career starts, as she joins Bayakoa as the only two-time winner of the race.
For jockey Mike Smith, the victory aboard the Benjamin Leon star,  marked his 16th victory in the Breeders’ Cup, breaking a tie for most wins with Jerry Bailey.
To top things off, on a fantastic day for Royal Delta fans, was the confirmation that America’s current Queen of racing will come back next year as a five-year-old.
“She has to remain healthy and we've got big plans for her, but I don't know if there is ever a filly that you could shoot for the moon with, I would say it would probably be one like her,” said Mott.
Look out Goldikova, Royal Delta will be gunning for a three-peat of her own.


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Older Comments about She Did it Again: Royal Delta Reigns Supreme...

I sure hope she makes it four in a row with the girls taking horse of the year. Go Royal Delta.
Just me and my oldest daughter, Laz, but thanks. She really loved it. New fan now.
Mary I love your passion for Royal Delta. To me that is very special. I bet your heart was in your throat when Mike took her out so fast, but it turns out that Mike new what he was doing. Glad that you and your family had such a wonderful time.
very cool!
We're going back next year.
footy, my little girl wanted to go back today.
sounds amazing Mary Z. So happy for you and tat your experience was so amazing!
Hi, tv.
footy and icy, Royal Delta's second win in the BCLC was, to me, the best horse racing moment, ever. The whole trip was wonderful. It was like Christmas, birthday, Disneyland all in one, but with so many of this year's top Thoroughbreds making it a dream come true. On Sunday morning, I got to love on absolutely gorgeous Nonios at BHP and sweet City To City(she was stabled just a few stalls away from P.O.E. who I did not touch) at SA. Nonios likes carrots, and not mints. She's the mint cruncher. They both were hugged and fed their preferred treats and loved until they must have been positively annoyed, but they were both well-behaved. Maybe a little sweater hem nibble, lol. My little daughter, 31, had a pony ride all around the barn. Huge thanks to the other dear horses we visited as well and the man who made the meetings possible.
So happy for you Mary Z! Was thinking about you while watching the are. It was so great that you got to see it live!
So We move down to the apron for Her race. I know some out loud "thoughts" were, No, I can't hear about any one's picks that are against Royal Delta. If this doesn't work out the right way, you will see a grown woman cry. (Said over my shoulder) Jess, he has Her on the lead!?(insert that ominous piano duh dun sound effect from scary movies) No one catches Her. She's still on the lead for, yes, the entire stretch, which is a joyous scream for the final 1/16. Those guys whose picks were not entertained by me became willing hug "victims". Little, now 13 yo girl running gleefully to winners circle, where huge crowd, planters, rude layout prevent a good view, but daughter caught up and made her way to the flower-shower photo and Herself draped in Her new BCLC blanket !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hey, did you guys see that nice maiden win? I think I found my filly love. Delayed response--just got home.
Royal Delta was fantastic, but so was Groupie Doll. RD beat a deeper BC field, but GD's record looks better on paper. Tough call either way.
Feel bad for the number one winning stable on the planet? are you for real??
She was pure royalty yesterday, can't wait to see what next year has to hold for this special filly
I feel bad for Godolphin, I dont like seeing them not run well, let alone NOT finish. But, OMG, is Bill Mott the King Trainer of horseracing, or what?! LOL Anyway, I had said on someone else's page last nite that if Leon doesnt bring Delta back, it's ok - she's more than earned her retirement..but i guess we're blessed with her for another yr..? Awesome! :) Very nice write, Brian!
Royal Delta certainly made it clear that she is the champion. The lack of run by Questing and the attempt to rate Love and Pride didn't hurt her.

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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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