Royal Delta: returned to best with easy victory in Delaware HandicapPICTURE: EquiSport Photos/Jessie Holmes
Royal Delta back with a bang in Del Cap
Report: USA, Saturday
Delaware Park: Delaware Hcap (Grade 1) 1m2f, dirt, 3yo+ f/m
SIGHS of relief all round as dual champion filly Royal Delta (Bill Mott/Mike Smith) returned to form in no uncertain fashion with a runaway victory in the Del Cap.
The five-year-old erased the memory of a pair of lacklustre displays on her last two starts as she broke on top and cruised clear of her toiling rivals to score by ten and three-quarter lengths, thereby completing back-to-back victories in the $750,000 contest.
Winner of the last two runnings of the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic, Royal Delta raced without Lasix for Saturday's race, where she was a 2-5 shot.
"It is about as easy at it gets," said winning rider Mike Smith."Even though it was hotter today then her last start, she was actually cooler today. She brought her 'A' game today.
"She jumped out there, got into stride right away and made every step a winning one. I just cruised around there with her. Everyone expected it and we did what we were supposed to do, so it is just a sigh of relief."
Trainer Bill Mott is now eyeing the Grade 1 Personal Ensign at Saratoga for Royal Delta's next assignment.
"She did it the right way and she is an awesome mare when she finds her right stride and gets her rhythm," he said. "She really covers a lot of ground. On paper it looked like she might be the speed in the race and she obviously was."
Also on Saturday
Princess of Sylmar slams her American Oaks rivals at SaratogaPICTURE: Bud Morton/ Equisport Photo
Saratoga: Coaching Club American Oaks (Grade 1) 1m1f, dirt, 3yo fillies
Princess Of Sylmar (Todd Pletcher/Javier Castellano) showed her surprise Kentucky Oaks triumph was no fluke as she slammed her rivals for a six-length victory in the first Grade 1 event of the Saratoga summer.
Although My Happy Face got an uncontested lead, she was a spent force in the stretch and no match for the winning filly, who was sent off 21-10 second favourite behind stablemate Unlimited Budget, who was baulked at the break and faded dramatically to finish last.
Princess Of Sylmar, set to run next in the Alabama, has now won six of her eight starts.
"I think everyone kind of lost sight of the fact that going into the Kentucky Oaks, it was billed as the best Oaks we've seen in 25 years," said Pletcher. "This filly wins it and gets virtually no respect and I think today she put herself at the top of the leader board, and now everyone understands that the Kentucky Oaks was a real race."
Del Mar: Eddie Read Stakes (Grade 1) 1m1f, turf, 3yo+
Benefiting from an ideal set-up after Fed Biz and Slim Shadey hooked up in a speed duel, late-running veteran Jeranimo (Mike Pender/Rafael Bejarano) recorded a last-to-first victory for his second Grade 1 success as the 5-2 favourite.
The seven-year-old, taking his graded-stakes tally to seven altogether, took the $300,000 contest by a length and a half from ex-French-trained Vagabond Shoes.
"I think when Jeranimo is in a real horse race, where there's speed, tactical speed, and deep closers like himself, that's when he's able to shine," said Mike Pender.
Authenticity winning the Grade 3 Shuvee Handicap at SaratogaPICTURE: Bud Morton/ Equisport Photo
Saratoga: Shuvee Hcap (Grade 3) 1m1f, dirt, 3yo+ f/m
The 1-2 favourite Authenticity (Todd Pletcher/John Velazquez) stalked the pace before holding the late rally of Flashy American to win by a length. She could meet Royal Delta in the Personal Ensign next time.
Zenyatta's half-sister Eblouissante was never a factor after givng trouble in the stalls and throwing Rosie Napravnik.