Gulfstream: Classy Edition bests Kathleen O. in Royal Delta

Gulfstream: Classy Edition bests Kathleen O. in Royal Delta
Photo: Lauren King / Gulfstream Park

Classy Edition, second to Kathleen O. in last year’s Davona Dale (G2), turned the tables on the 4-5 favorite in Saturday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Royal Delta at Gulfstream Park.

The even-money second choice ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., Classy Edition obtained a tactical advantage over the Shug McGaughey-trained 4-5 favorite after stalking early pacesetter Jungle Juice during dawdling fractions of 25.28 and 50.15 seconds for the first quarter- and half-mile.

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“I was pretty pleased,” Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher said. “We got to a good spot, and it looked like Irad had a lot of horse just waiting to pull the trigger.”

Kathleen O., who won three stakes last season at Gulfstream, got away a bit slowly from the starting gate and raced sixth of seven horses along the backstretch. As Classy Edition seemingly moved effortlessly to the pacesetter on the far turn, Javier Castellano had gotten Kathleen O.’s run under way. The favorite passed horses with a wide sweep to enter contention on the turn into the homestretch, but Classy Edition was able to kick clear on fresh legs and continued on to register a comfortable, 1 3/4-length victory.

“She was going good on the backside. We were going slow, but she was close to the lead,” Ortiz said. “I let her do her thing, and she did the rest.”

Owned by Robert and Lawana Low, Classy Edition ($4.20) ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.15 to register her fifth victory in seven career starts. Kathleen O. finished second, four lengths clear of Don’t Get Khozy.

Classy Edition, a New York-bred daughter of Classical Empire, made an impressive return from a nine-month layoff to win a mile, optional-claiming allowance at Gulfstream Jan. 11 by 5 1/4 lengths.

“We really thought highly of her. She showed quality. She ran a good second in the race here and then needed some time off,” Pletcher said. “She came back really well. I thought her comeback race was excellent. We kind of had a little tactical edge today, and she was able to get it done.”

Kathleen O., who had finished a close second in the Nov. 25 Comely (G3) at Aqueduct, had out-finished Classy Edition to win last year’s seven-furlong Davona Dale by two lengths but was unable to make a serious run in the stretch Saturday.

“She ran really well. Unfortunately, it was a slow pace, 25, 50 (seconds),” Kathleen O.’s jockey Javier Castellano said. “For a come-from-behind horse it was too much to ask.”

The Royal Delta for older fillies and mares was named in honor of the Hall of Fame, three-time Eclipse Award champion who captured six Grade 1 stakes for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott during a career spanning 2010-2013.

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