09/30/2013 11:35AM

Breeders' Cup Distaff: Royal Delta 'might have a better one in her'

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Barbara D. Livingston
Princess of Sylmar defeats Royal Delta in the Beldame at Belmont Park on Saturday. Princess of Sylmar is unlikely to run back in the Breeders' Cup.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Royal Delta maintained her role as Breeders’ Cup Distaff favorite, though her position is less secure than before a pair of Grade 1 races Saturday at Belmont Park and Santa Anita.

In the Beldame at Belmont, Park, Royal Delta finished second to 3-year-old filly Princess of Sylmar. However, Princess of Sylmar is likely finished for the year and not expected to run in the Distaff.

In the Grade 1 Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita, 3-year-old filly Beholder scored a decisive win over Authenticity and Joyful Victory to emerge as second choice for the Distaff.

While the Grade 1 Spinster Stakes Sunday at Keeneland could increase the Distaff field size, the 2013 field might end up the smallest since 2003 at Santa Anita when seven ran. The key Spinster probable is Apple Blossom winner On Fire Baby.

The number of legitimate Distaff candidates currently is six and includes Royal Delta, Beholder, Authenticity, Joyful Victory, Close Hatches, and On Fire Baby. The status of Cotillion winner Close Hatches will be determined closer to the race.

Royal Delta earned a 102 Beyer finishing second in the Beldame, after which trainer Bill Mott suggested she would be trained more aggressively leading to the Distaff.

“I’m not sure she ran her best race,” Mott told NYRA publicity. “She might have a better one in her than that. I’m pretty sure she does.”

Royal Delta will train in New York and ship to California closer to the race.

Meanwhile, Princess of Sylmar’s owner Ed Stanco told Daily Racing Form’s David Grening that she is probably done for the year. Her two-length Beldame victory was her fourth Grade 1 and likely secured the Eclipse Award for champion 3-year-old filly.

Beholder earned a 106 Beyer racing wire to wire in the Zenyatta. The only 3-year-old in the field, Beholder benefitted from an easy tempo (47.36 and 1:11.28) en route to her 1 3/4-length win over
two-three finishers Authenticity and Joyful Victory.

Beholder, who is based in California, is now 4 for 4 in two-turn races at Santa Anita. All four victories were Grade 1’s, including the 2012 BC Juvenile Fillies.

Authenticity, based in New York, finished second in the Zenyatta and will remain at Santa Anita to prepare for the Distaff. Joyful Victory, third in the Zenyatta, will return to Churchill Downs to train. She is expected back for the Distaff.

Trainer Ron Ellis termed Include Me Out’s status “doubtful” for the Breeders’ Cup after she finished last in the Zenyatta. Include Me Out was scheduled to undergo a nuclear scan later this week. She finished third in the 2012 BC Distaff.

Saturday's race was Include Me Out's second straight subpar effort. Ellis said she did not bleed.

“We’ll have to do to some tests on her to see what the problem is,” he said.

More Chocolate, fifth in the Zenyatta, has been removed from Breeders’ Cup consideration, according to trainer John Sadler.

Forego137 More than 1 year ago
IMO R.D. wasn't fully cranked for the Beldame, after all that is not her objective, her main goal is to three peat in the Distaffer. P.O.S. was cranked up for the Beldame and ran like it reason she won't run in Distaffer and be shelved for next year. P.O.S. had a big year and lets hope they left something in the tank for next year. Now with that being said Royal Delta will bet better prepared for B.C.Distaffer and I for one will back her in her final race to three peat like the Champion she is.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Beholder will give her a good race, give me my -1. Now please, I know I am not aloud to talk like that
Perl More than 1 year ago
When is the last time you saw Royal Delta get passed in the lane by another filly/mare? I can't remember the last time it happened. Usually she gets beat when a horse gets away from her. I will go against her in the BC.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
So Wise Dan is now your only single, you would not keep delta girl off your pick 4 ticket now that's gambling.lol. What if Wise Dan loses shadwell, humm?
Donna Straley More than 1 year ago
I noticed that, too. She put up pretty much the same fractions as in her last 2 races, but this time she appeared to run out of gas in the stretch. I've never seen her do that before. Either, Mott is right, & he undertrained her, or she's gotten to that pt in her career when she's staring to lose a few steps.
Scott More than 1 year ago
Royal Delta is a very consistent performer and it has not been an uncommon occurance over her career to lose and then come back and win her next outing. I just went through her past performances and she has only failed to win in her next outing twice. She was second in the Sabin Stakes in 2012 to Awesome Maria prior to traveling to Meydan to try the World Cup for the first time. We now know she hates that surface (she finished 9th), but came back and won her next outing in the Fleur de Lis. This year she again failed to handle the Meydan surface and seemed flat in the Fleur de Lis when running second to Funny Proposition. It's worth noting that most of her losses were 2nd place finishes. In fact take a look at the queen of consistency's record: 21 races 12 firsts, 5 seconds, 1 third with only 3 finishes off the board in her career. Two of those came against the boys in Dubai and the other was in the second race of her career over Suncoast. Short of her falling down, you can bet the house and a little more that she will hit the board and I think a pay check or two should go to her winning. Good luck and have some faith.
Matthew Ellis More than 1 year ago
The QUEEN sure gets away with a lot of excuses for a great champion racehorse. Agree her size and performaces at times are special. But sure doesn't like adversity or legitimate challenge
offbeatbull More than 1 year ago
She is missing the Lasix.
Guy John More than 1 year ago
I don't think RD was cranked up for the Cup. She will repeat in BC. Beholder can't run 46 and 109/110 and hang on 1 1/8. RD can and has before.
offbeatbull More than 1 year ago
NO lasix. NO win.
Union_Rags More than 1 year ago
Joyful Victory has been retired.
Dave More than 1 year ago
Anybody know the status of Fiftyshadesofhay? Is she pointing for the Distaff?
Robert More than 1 year ago
I'd have to think if Beholder wins the distaff she is 3 yr old champion, that would give her 2 wins over older with a win over Royal Delta too. Lets hope all these fillies stay healthy and interested to run as 4 year olds. This could be like Blind Luck Vs Havre de Grace redux with Beholder and Princess Sylmar with close Hatches thown in for good measure.
Rob Tolliver More than 1 year ago
No chance Beholder is 3 year old filly champ. Princess of Sylmar won the 3 biggest races of the year for 3 yr old fillies (KY.Oaks/CCAO/Alabama). Also owns a head to head over Beholder....Let me repeat...Beholder has 0 chance....would also have less Grade I's. Should be unanimous.
Wayne Haehner More than 1 year ago
100% concur and well stated Mr. Tolliver--the 3yo filly title was decided when Sylmar won the Alabama--even if she would have been beaten 99 lengths in the Beldame--that would still have no effect on her 3yo filly Eclipse--why everyone cannot acknowledge that is a mind-boggling mystery. Probably the west coast media and fan based bias is in denial that they don't have any 3yo filly races that have any impact on year end honors.
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
Thats because all the filly races are run in spring and early summer, but I do agree its a done deal. It would take a 10 length victory in 146 or better over Royal delta and Royal delta needs to be 10 clear of the rest of the field. That might get her some votes. lol
Duane Deane More than 1 year ago
Well said Rob T. When u guys post comments like that, do you actually follow racing? You sound like the TVG analyst who are ALWAYS pro Cal horses.
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
They're not biased they're just idiots.
B More than 1 year ago
Don't like saying it as I wished things had turned out differently, but you are right on in my opinion.
arthur spalding More than 1 year ago
The Princess is 3yo Champ no matter what Beholder does. She also may be horse of the year (fillies) if RD shouldn't win at BC Distaff. Beholder hasn't done enough and POS beat her on the sqare in Oaks. Your point is a ridiculous one
MKKelly513 More than 1 year ago
Losers always want a second chance at redemption. Beholder had all summer to get her second chance at The Princess, but chose not to go to Saratoga. She expects the winner to come to her? It doesn't work that way. Beholder was very game at the Ky Oaks. She didn't lose it, The Princess won it. She would have won the Oaks in most other years, but not 2013.
Ronald Sanchez More than 1 year ago
Street girl , who came third in cotillion and fourth in ballerina, will be in the distaff, and sweet lulu i thougt will go as well, so field gonna be bigger than 7
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
Sweet Lulu will be in sprint.
Ronald Sanchez More than 1 year ago
Street girl iwho came third in the cotillion and fourth in ballerina will be running in the distaff , so the field will come bigger