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Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic: Royal Delta's opposition will be clearer after Spinster
By Brad Free
The Beldame Stakes romp by Royal Delta confirmed the 4-year-old filly as clear favorite for the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic, a race that will crystallize after the Spinster Stakes on Sunday at Keeneland.
Tiz Miz Sue will use the Spinster to prep for the Ladies’ Classic. The status of 3-year-old fillies In Lingerie and Disposablepleasure will be evaluated after they face older for the first time in the Spinster.
Meantime, the confirmed Ladies’ Classic field is small – as few as seven starters – but strong. “It’s shaping up as one of the greatest editions in recent memory,” said trainer Chad Brown, whose unbeaten Awesome Feather is among the favorites.
Expected runners include Royal Delta, last year’s Ladies’ Classic winner; Awesome Feather and My Miss Aurelia, undefeated Grade 1-winning champions; Questing, a two-time Grade 1 winner; Love and Pride, a Grade 1 winner in New York and California; Include Me Out, the Grade 1 winner based in California; and Tiz Miz Sue.
Although the Beldame romp by Royal Delta – 9 1/2 lengths – fueled BC Classic speculation, she will stay with her gender. Trainer Bill Mott said Wednesday the Ladies’ Classic “is our intention right now.” Royal Delta will train at Belmont, and ship to California on Oct. 28 or 29.
It’s Tricky remains a candidate, though trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and Godolphin racing manger Simon Crisford might lean to the Filly & Mare Sprint. “It’s 52-48 she’ll go to the seven-eighths, but we really haven’t talked it out for sure,” McLaughlin said Wednesday.
Godolphin has a confirmed Ladies’ Classic starter in Questing, runner-up to My Miss Aurelia in her most recent start.
Love and Pride’s victory in the Zenyatta, her second straight Grade 1, underscored the strength of the East Coast fillies and mares. In her previous start, she defeated Royal Delta.
The Zenyatta Stakes ended BC plans for Joyful Victory and Amani.
Joyful Victory was scheduled to return to Kentucky. Amani was unable to overcome the slow pace and speed-favoring track profile and finished fifth.
Include Me Out could be the only local representative. A three-time graded stakes winner this year in California, her third-place finish in the Zenyatta was either the perfect prep, or a sign the West Coast fillies and mares are inferior to the East Coast contingent.
As for Tiz Miz Sue, the 5-year-old mare remains a legitimate Ladies’ Classic longshot, pending her effort on Sunday in the Spinster.
Trainer Steve Hobby hoped the Kentucky race would be easier than her last two starts.
“We tried Royal Delta twice, we didn’t want to try her three or four times in a row,” Hobby said, explaining the ship to Keeneland. “We were thinking with the races at Belmont, Santa Anita, and this one, it might be a chance to cut them up a little.”
Tiz Miz Sue finished fourth last out, beaten just two lengths in the Personal Ensign. The one-two finishers Love and Pride and Royal Delta validated the race by winning Grade 1’s last week in California and New York.
Tiz Miz Sue has won six races and $674,709 from 27 starts.
Totally agree with "Forego137." When Feather was BC champ and Eclipse-award winner for Jacks or Better Farm, it was a consensus agreement by the connections that they had not found the bottom of the tank in any of her 6 races for them. Even after her Keeneland sale for $2.3M and the bowed tendon, Chad Brown (for Frank Stronach) has been patiently careful with what he realized is a champion filly. In her "public workout" -the Nasty Storm stakes @ Belmont - she was vigorously hand-ridden and shown the whip, but not even tapped with it, and being eased up the last 60 yards. She was reserved just off the pace in the 5-path early, going the first 1/4 in 23. Feather had hit the front at 3/4 in 1:08.3, and did an eased up last 1/4 in 24.4, completing a mile in 1:33.2. On "Super Saturday" at Belmont, the track was good, not lightning fast, and in the Kelso GI Mile with To Honor and Serve, Shackleford et al the winner went the mile in 1:35.1 after 6F in 1:09.1. Royal Delta was several lengths in the clear at the mile marker in her Beldame GI win clocking 1:10 for 6F and 1:35 @ a Mile. Was the track that much slower that day? I think not - these are GI horses. Feather turned 1:08.3 and 1:32.3 remember. Delta's Beyers was 106 and Feather's was 108. I can hardly wait for the Ladies Classic - those of us who understand Feather hasn't been asked or challenged in the final 1/4 mile of her middle distance victories are excited over the prospect of getting her at 7/2 or 4/1. She will be a clear daylight winner if she came out of her last race well (looks like she did). Let's figure this one out ... it's Frank Stronach's (Magma) racetrack; it's his filly; she is an undefeated 10 for 10; it's the Breeders Cup; she will be a 2-time Eclipse winner and champion; there has been only one other horse to win two BC races while undefeated (Zenyatta). Do ya' think Stronach and Chad Brown have been pointing to this all along? Yep! Feather is not just Awesome - she is Fantastic (and getting better)! Go Feather!
If I had to pick the tri right now it would be 1, AF, 2 RD and 3 MMA. However, I wouldnt count out MMA from the top spot as her age makes her more likely to improve and the fact that she is undefeated should not be tossed aside, even though her speed numbers aren't quite up to par to the top two rated.
The Ladies Classic is between Royal Delta and Awesome Feather, The race sets up for Royal Delta with all the speed signed up, if Awesome Feather can sit off the pace the rest are running for second. My pick will have to be Awesome Feather who I do believe we still haven't seen her best yet and with Chad Brown calling the shots I think we will be get to see something special. Awesome Feather B.C.Ladies Classic winner for 2012.
California racing AW at its best, might have 1 filly, seriously? On your home field 1 filly?
Very early, but I see the race this way. I believe we've seen the last "Slow it down, 50 half" from Questing. In the Ladies Classic, I think it'll be "As fast as she can, as long as she can," and that the rest of the great, great field will be in big trouble and end up drubbed. And I plan to bet the race accordingly.
I'm rather surprised that Royal Delta is going here rather than in the Classic. The Classic line up has some nice horses, though no great ones, but the Ladies Classic is a brilliant field. I think they are making a mistake and my choice here at the moment is the 10 for 10 Awesome Feather.
i still say her toughest opponent will be MMA-----still unbeaten!
What will a race on the plastiturf tell us about who will be able to run on a west coast dirt strip? The results of this race should be discarded viz-a-viz the BC Distaff.
There is oppisition for R.D. there may not be a colt who can beat her.Guess we will know when she work's on S.A.track.She might be able to win both if they let her run in them.She may be the shortest price of the weekend major race's.
Love, love, love that lineup for the Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic. It is still the race I am anticipating the most during Breeders' Cup weekend.
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