Royal Delta deserves Classic shot
As good as Game On Dude looked in the Awesome Again out at Santa Anita, the biggest effort on a big day of racing came from Royal Delta in the Beldame at Belmont. She crushed a good filly in It's Tricky to win by 9 1/2 lengths in what was as good a performance as any horse has turned in this year.But trainer Bill Mott and owner Benjamin Leon have said they will take the conservative route and run her next in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic. That's the safe decision, not the right one. She's too good to not to be in the Classic. The surprising thing about the decision is that this is not Leon's style. Relatively new to the sport, he wasted little time making a splash when he bought Royal Delta for $8.5 million at the sales last November at Keeneland. He proved again that he likes to aim high when he directed Mott to point her for the Dubai World Cup. While that didn't work out, it was well worth the shot. She's had some glitches since. After winning the Fleur de Lis, she looked ordinary winning the Delaware Handicap by a neck and then was beaten in the Personal Ensign. But whatever may have been bothering her was nowhere to be found Saturday at Belmont. Now Leon and Mott are pointing the filly for the $2 million Ladies' Classic, a race she has already won. She'll be the favorite, but it's far from a soft spot. Her competition will include the undefeated fillies Awesome Feather and My Miss Aurelia, as well as Love and Pride, who beat Royal Delta in the Personal Ensign and came back Saturday with a win in the Grade 1 Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita. There's also the multiple Grade 1 winner Questing.
Now Leon and Mott are pointing the filly for the $2 million Ladies' Classic, a race she has already won.