Royal Delta Surges Home in Alabama

Royal Delta denied It’s Tricky a sweep of the TVG Triple Tiara with a runaway victory in the 131st running of the Grade 1, $500,000 TVG Alabama on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course.


Third behind Alabama starters It’s Tricky and Plum Pretty in the Grade 1 TVG Coaching Club American Oaks at the Spa on July 23, Royal Delta emphatically reversed the form of that race, blowing past favored It’s Tricky at the eighth-pole of the 1 ¼-mile TVG Alabama to post a 5 ½-length victory.


Royal Delta settled in third as she skimmed the rail, raced two lengths off the pace behind Plum Pretty’s moderate fractions of 49.31 and 1:13.12. Waiting as It’s Tricky ranged up to the lead nearing the quarter-pole, she rallied outside horses to take the lead in midstretch, and widened the margin despite ducking in sharply and brushing the rail after forging to the front.


Off as the 5-1 fifth choice in the field of six 3-year-old fillies, Royal Delta returned $13 to her backers in the crowd of 33,380. The final time was 2:03.13.


Both jockey Jose Lezcano and Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott credited Royal Delta for relaxing in the early stages of the race.


Last time she was a little rank, she fought with the bit,” said Lezcano. “But today, I let her break and run the first quarter, and after that I took a little hold and she got very relaxed. I asked her at the quarter pole and took her out, and she gave me a big kick. She really took off.”


The TVG Coaching Club American Oaks had been Royal Delta’s first start since a victory in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan in May at Pimlico, after which she missed the Grade 1 Mother Goose in June at Belmont Park with a bruised foot.


“I think she needed it [TVG Coaching Club American Oaks] in a lot of ways, not just conditioning, but also mentally,” said Mott, who won the 2005 Alabama with Sweet Symphony. “She was a little fresh in that race, and we tried to sit in behind; further [back]. Today the plan was to lay closer and let her find her stride, and she was able to do that. She was really comfortable. Jose did a great job, and she had plenty left. It’s a matter of her relaxing and conserving energy for the final run, which she didn’t do the time before.”


Royal Delta’s victory had a tinge of bittersweetness for Mott as the filly’s owner, Prince Saud bin Khaled, died in February. Mott also trained Royal Delta’s dam, multiple graded turf stakes winner Delta Princess, for Khaled, who bred the daughter of Empire Maker in Kentucky and raced under the banner of Palides Investments.


“The owner of the horse, who is a special friend of mine, is not with us today, but I’m sure he is watching,” said Mott. “We have always thought she was a nice filly, and she proves us right all the time.”


Mott, who originally considered running Royal Delta in Sunday’s Grade 2 Woodford Reserve Lake Placid on the turf, said the filly is likely to remain on dirt for now.


“This is a very important race obviously, a Grade 1, and it was our first choice,” said Mott. “We’ve got those [grass] options down the road. I think she’s a filly that seems to do anything. She will run over any surface. She has won on the synthetics, won a Grade 1 on the dirt, and has worked well over the grass. Our options are always open [with her], but there is nothing like a good old-fashioned dirt race like the [TVG] Alabama.”


Royal Delta is 4-0-1 from six starts. The $300,000 winner’s share of the Alabama purse more than doubled her earnings to $544,600.


It’s Tricky was attempting to become the sixth horse to win the Grade 1 TVG Acorn, the TVG Coaching Club American Oaks, and TVG Alabama.


“She ran well,” said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin of It’s Tricky’s performance. “I thought we ran our race and looked good. The winner probably needed her last race and a mile and a quarter. But we ran a nice race; no excuse. We couldn’t have done anything different. We were just second-best.”


Plum Pretty tired to fourth, and she was followed by St. John’s River and Inglorious.


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Older Comments about Royal Delta Surges Home in Alabama...

yes the $50 is real but I think you have to bet it and win again to collect. You better check that as I'm going from memory
Thanks icyhotboo. That actually "rings a bell" of memory. Is that $50.00 of real money?
MichaelPavelick : I believe if you pick the winner of the race in which the contest is held you win a $50 bet in the next contest race. If there are multiple winners then it goes into a lottery where the winner is drawn from a lottery type of thing. Best I can do. Hope it helped.
All I know is I picked her in a HRN contest on Friday evening at the btoom of the hompage. Does anybody here have input on that contest, and what it means?
I guess so .. Synthetics is her thing.
Inglorious is now 0 for 3 on the dirt. Enough said.
She did it! Thank goodness it was not such a sweltering hot day as for the CCAO. My Royal Delta won! Nice move to get clear in the stretch.
Inglorios sure never fired... Nice win by Royal Delta!!
Wow, how impressive she was! Good for Bill Mott--she will bring in the BIG bucks as auction this fall. Inglorious never looked comfortable.
Wow, how impressive she was! Good for Bill Mott--she will bring in the BIG bucks as auction this fall. Inglorious never looked comfortable

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