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Breeders' Cup Distaff: Royal Delta could go for three-peat
By Brad Free
Royal Delta will be strongly favored when she seeks an unprecedented three-peat in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, though trainer Bill Mott and owner Benjamin Leon have not closed the door on the BC Classic.
“That has not been decided,” Mott said Monday. “It’s more logical to keep her in the filly race for now.”
The Breeders' Cup will be run at Santa Anita on Nov. 1-2.
Royal Delta, who dominated her last two races, returns Sept. 28 in the Grade 1 Beldame at Belmont Park. Authenticity and Kentucky Oaks winner Princess of Sylmar, whose BC status is unconfirmed, also are possible Beldame starters.
Meanwhile, a deep field of Distaff candidates is taking shape for the Grade 1 Zenyatta Stakes on Sept. 28 at Santa Anita. The prospective lineup includes Midwest-based Joyful Victory, Kentucky Oaks runner-up Beholder, Include Me Out, and More Chocolate.
Trainer Larry Jones confirmed Joyful Victory will run in the Zenyatta, a race in which she finished second last year before skipping the Breeders’ Cup. Jones expects Joyful Victory to continue her campaign this year in the Breeders’ Cup. Joyful Victory won the Grade 1 Santa Margarita by four lengths in March at Santa Anita.
Include Me Out will try to rebound in the Zenyatta after she bombed in the Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch on Aug. 3 at Del Mar. She finished eighth as the favorite.
“I don’t know what went wrong,” trainer Ron Ellis said. “I haven’t found anything physically wrong. She’s won Grade 1's on synthetic but her best races have been on dirt. We’ll be looking for a bounce-back race.”
Beholder won her comeback Sept. 1 at Del Mar. Trainer Richard Mandella said she will face older for the first time in the Zenyatta.
The Grade 1 Cotillion for 3-year-old fillies Sept. 21 at Parx could produce Distaff contenders. Sweet Lulu, 4-for-4 winner of the Grade 1 Test, will ship from California. Close Hatches also will start in the Cotillion, her first start since she romped June 22 in the Mother Goose. Alabama Stakes runner-up Fiftyshadesofhay is a Cotillion maybe.
Breeders’ Cup plans for those 3-year-old fillies will be made after the Cotillion, although Sweet Lulu’s trainer, Jerry Hollendorfer, said, “I don’t think people are real eager to run against Royal Delta.”
Sweet Lulu will be considered for the BC Filly and Mare Sprint.
Lady of Fifty, upset winner of the Hirsch, a BC Challenge race, is not likely to make the Breeders’ Cup after a recent setback.
“I had to slow down her a little bit,” Hollendorfer said. “I can’t say for sure if she’ll make the Breeders’ Cup. It is nothing serious.”
This is an absolute SHAM if Royal Delta goes to the Distaff instead of the Classic. I'm tired of owners acting sheepish about running their horses in the big races. If Royal Delta wants to go down as one of the all-time great mares, she has to run against the boys. A victory in the Classic also solidifies her HOY status. The same goes for Wise Dan. What good is running in the Mile? What is there to prove? In the words of Chris "Mad Dog" Russo -- SHOW SOME GUTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Please run Include Me Out in the F&M Sprint. She can not win at 9 furlongs against RD.
To go into the Ladies Distaff comes BC is the right move even though this filly and mare race will be a tough one. RD and all others will be breathing the same air. To race against the boys, not the same air and not the right move. A 3 peat would be great, from what I heard at Saratoga, connections may bring RD back for 2014 which would be great, maybe all us racing fans could enjoy her 1 more year I know I would.
I would love for Hollendorfer to keep Lulu in California and run at SA instead of shipping. Keep the travel time down. This is a fast classy filly who is only going to get better. I'd take a shot with her against any of the girls right now. I think she can run Beholder into the ground as for Royal Delta I would place a wager on Lulu. Thats why we gamble.
What makes the connections think she has a legitimate chance in the Classic when she had an ideal trip in the Dubai World Cup yet still got trounced. Same for the 2012 World Cup. That would make her 0-2 against the boys. This looks like an easy decision!
If there is a big upset in classic she will win horse of the year if she wins distaff. A lifetime achievement award like zenyatta got in 2010. Before you people go nuts no bigger Z fan then me. Blame a just ran in tougher races and finish first in classic. Gold cup lost should not of been a factor. Specially win winner of gold cup went wire to wire.
I think the Distaff is the best choice for Royal Delta where she will probably take home a 3rd straight victory. Also that would free up Mike Smith to ride Game on Dude for the Classic.
- 1.Posted 12/08/2013 09:52AM
- 2.Posted 12/07/2013 07:42PM
- 3.Posted 12/08/2013 06:24PM
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- 5.Posted 12/07/2013 03:42PM