10/19/2013 2:35PM

Breeders' Cup workouts: Royal Delta turns in sharp breeze

Barbara D. Livingston
Royal Delta breezed five furlongs in 59.88 seconds Saturday at Belmont Park ahead of the Breeders' Cup Distaff.

ELMONT, N.Y. – As far as the Daily Racing Form clocker report is concerned, the path to the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita Park once again begins 3,000 miles away at Belmont Park, where the majority of the New York-based trainers will complete preparations for their Cup-bound runners prior to putting them on their flights to California less than a week before the big event.

[MORE: BREEDERS' CUP WORKOUTS: Full DRF coverage, Mike Welsch video reports]

Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup work tab at Belmont was dominated by trainers Bill Mott and Todd Pletcher, who sent out four and three prospective starters, respectively, among them Royal Delta and Princess of Sylmar, who are on a collision course for a rematch in the Distaff.

The weather in New York was perfect during training hours, a little on the cool side, with the temperature in the mid-40s when the track opened at 5:30 a.m. Both the main and training tracks were fast, with the turf course listed as firm throughout the morning.

Main track:

Royal Delta (Distaff) turned in arguably the most impressive of the pre-Breeders’ Cup works at Belmont a year ago prior to her victory in the Ladies’ Classic, and she looked very sharp once again Saturday, breezing an easy five furlongs in 59.88 seconds after posting early splits of 24.88 for the opening quarter and 36.17 for three-eighths. She galloped out strong, as always, shading 1:13 for six furlongs before pulling up seven-eighths in a solid 1:27.63. Rating: B+

Emollient (Filly and Mare Turf) – An easy, maintenance-type half-mile over the main track in 48.16 for a filly coming off an impressive last-to-first Polytrack victory two weeks earlier in the Grade 1 Spinster. She too finished with interest while not asked to the wire before galloping out well, five furlongs in 1:01.82. Rating: B

Ron the Greek (Classic) – Never much of a work horse, the Jockey Club Gold Cup winner did little more than open gallop away from the five-eighths pole under jockey Jose Lezcano before breezing a half-mile in an average 48.52 while mildly encouraged to finish and gallop out five-eighths in 1:02.65. Rating: B-

Close Hatches (Distaff) – A nice five-eighths move for the steadily improving 3-year-old filly, who completed the final quarter-mile of a 1:00.42 drill in 23.63 and, like Royal Delta, galloped out very well, getting six furlongs in 1:13.58 before pulling up seven-eighths in 1:27.09 while never really extended. Rating: B+

Easter Gift (Dirt Mile) – Had Joel Rosario aboard. Went on even terms alongside Last Gunfighter, with the duo finishing well at the end of an easy half-mile in 47.54 before galloping out five-eighths in 1:00.01. Rating: B

Last Gunfighter (Dirt Mile) – As noted above, there was little to choose between this multiple Grade 3 winner and workmate Easter Gift, with the pair coming home a final quarter in 23.44 without much urging and galloping out well. Rating: B

Training track:

Princess of Sylmar (Distaff) – Finished just a half-length in front of recent maiden winner Tiz Chris but was easily best of the team, with her workmate under urging, trying to keep pace through the final furlong, and the likely 3-year-old filly champion cruising to the wire. She completed four furlongs in 48.46 before maintaining her advantage and galloping out five-eighths in a solid 1:01.62 into the turn. Rating: B

Verrazano (Dirt Mile) – Worked in company outside of Capo Bastone, with the pair covering five-eighths in 1:00.75 after barely shading 13 seconds for the opening eighth, neither being extended to the wire while galloping out willingly into the turn. Rating: B

Capo Bastone (Turf Sprint) – Held his own with Verrazano while inside his workmate, with the duo completing the final quarter-mile in 24.41 while finishing on even terms. Rating: B

Sweet Reason (Juvenile Fillies) – Her first work since her troubled second-place finish in the Frizette was of the maintenance variety, as she eased away from the half-mile pole under regular rider Alex Solis and went a leisurely opening quarter in 25.11 before picking up the pace a bit down the lane, covering a half-mile in 49.45, galloping out five-eighths in an average 1:03.41, and pulling up a bit abruptly once exiting the turn. She’s one of the few Cup horses based in New York who will ship early and get a work in at Santa Anita prior to her race. Rating: B-

Inner turf course:

Spring to the Sky (Turf Sprint) – Has always been a good work horse on grass and did not disappoint Saturday. Appeared to be striding out well and effortlessly, completing the final half-mile of a five-furlong drill around the dogs in 47.79 and, like Sweet Reason, will ship Tuesday and have one work at Santa Anita prior to the Breeders’ Cup. Rating: B

Saturday at Churchill

Fort Larned (Classic) – The 2012 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner worked solo in splits of 12.73 and 25.09 seconds and was going easily to the wire in 49.12 for a half-mile. He continued out around the turn in 1:01.53 and 1:16.72 for six furlongs. This was an easy move but not nearly as sharp as the ones before last year’s race. We’ll need to see more in his upcoming works. Rating: B

Gentlemen’s Bet (Sprint) – Worked on the outside of stakes winner Right to Vote in 37.41 for three furlongs to the top of the lane and finished well to the wire in 1:01.02 for five furlongs while just being nudged a tad late. They both went strongly past the wire in 1:14.05 and 1:27.45 for seven furlongs. Rating: B+

Laugh Track (Dirt Mile) – Worked with recent maiden winner Northern Lion to the top of the lane in 36.46 for three furlongs and finished up by two lengths at the wire in 1:00.76 for five furlongs while under mild pressure. The pair galloped out six furlongs together in 1:14.11. Rating: B

Friday Belmont works

Artemis Agrotera (Juvenile Fillies) – The lone Breeders’ Cup work of the day was a very strong half-mile turned in by the undefeated Grade 1 winner, who shaded 23 seconds for her opening quarter but had enough left in the tank to complete four furlongs in 46.64 while well within herself. She galloped out five-eighths in 59.43 and pulled up six furlongs in 1:13.58 over what appeared to be a very lively main track after the break. Rating: B+

– additional reporting by David Grening and Mike Vesce

Ian GW More than 1 year ago
Im not liking what I'm seeing in these races. Seem kind of small fields that DRF is predicting with 2 or 3 heavy contenders. Maybe a watch than a gamble BC this year. I got two horses I like but need price or a pass.
edb More than 1 year ago
Hopefully they don't soup up SA track and cause another speed bias. No stone cold singles with last couple of weeks' upsets so odds should be more attractive on favorites. And I hope the GOD haters put their money at the windows and try to beat the HOY. Now is the time to give alot of thought to which horses will run back to their best forms. Will it be Little Mike, Groupie Doll, Trinniberg or even Fort Larned? One more wish, can The Princess come out and play? It is the magic time of the year for racing and hopefully we all get the gold at the end of the rainbow.
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
I don't understand the things you're hoping and wishing for. Santa Anita will be a speed enhanced race track breeders cup weekend as it always is for a big day. Odds are 1-9. Why do you hope that Game on Dude fans put their money through the windows to try and beat Wise Dan? Princess of Sylmar is already confirmed to run in the Distaff.
edb More than 1 year ago
Don't live in the past. WD was last year, a solid 2nd or 3rd this year. If Princess wins, he's 3rd. Can't wait to see muddy horses coming back after the race on a sunny day. Thanks for 1-9. Maybe there will be an objection and you are taken down.
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
The thing is Wise Dan is horse of the year until unseated. Dude should want the fast track he is sure to get but if he doesn't win, he won't get horse of year.
edb More than 1 year ago
Bet you $8.33 he isn't. Hope both win their races and just make it tougher for the voters.
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
I believe my post may have given the wrong impression. I don't believe Dan will be horse of the year and don't believe he should be. Thought the same thing last year. Was just saying he is and unless Dude wins the Classic I don't believe he will be or should be either.
not impressed More than 1 year ago
WD won't get HOTY if GOD wins the Classic, plain and simple. And that's not being biased, it's just how it will be. WD lost once and if GOD wins the Classic, he would be unbeaten for 2013, hard to pass that up. Besides we all know voters are fickle as they come. They have a history of voting a horse a Champ after only one win in this country or all year.
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
It is exactly that plain and simple just as I would think 99% of everyone would say and believe. But, Dude has to win it and he has his work cut out for him just like last year.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Why would it be a tough choice if both win there race ? Last time I check this is America not europe dirt route trumps everything especially undefeated 4 time grade one winner which dude would be if he wins classic. If princess of SYLMAR wins I would put her over Wise Dan but not dude if he wins. POS would have beaten an older eclipse winner two times in a row.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Royal Delta threepeat
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
Very possible.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
One of the real positives about holding the Breeder's Cup at the same track multiple years is that the connections of the winners the year before know their horses like the track and are likely to be encouraged to take a shot the next year. Royal Delta, Beholder, Groupie Doll, Mizdirection,Trinniberg, Little Mike, Wise Dan, and Fort Larned are all scheduled to attempt a 2nd BC win at Santa Anita in 2 years.
not impressed More than 1 year ago
I'm hoping Trinniberg IS NOT running this year. He's CLEARLY off form.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Alot of off form horse have pulled off upsets at breeders cup. If it is going to be his last racewhy not. Maybe He will be the rabbit for Pointsoffthebench and goldencents. I think he has decent shot it just a six furlong race, he breaks clean get on the lead could be trouble like last year.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Two weeks cant wait, great races big payouts hope I will find a few.
Gunner More than 1 year ago
The Playboy Dictionary defines Parlay as one that is just average.
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
and on the west coast No Jet Lag worked an impressive 58.4 handily. Wise Dan and the rest look out. This guy can run as evident by his 2 for 2 stateside record.
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
Dear Lawrence, when a horse works in the morning and it is referred to as Handily, doesn't that usually mean that there where used to get the work ?
Ceil Rock More than 1 year ago
HRTV showed the work this morning - very impressive. He was under a pretty strong hold the whole time.
D Lange More than 1 year ago
You should pay more attention to west coast workouts. That H is useless.
not impressed More than 1 year ago
I like this guy...the Mile is going to be a tougher race this year than last for Wise Dan.
M More than 1 year ago
I hope the east coast NY based horses dominate. Best horses, best trainers, best racing dirt and turf. NYRA is the name of the game.
not impressed More than 1 year ago
I'm not playing many if any NY based horses. It's like Churchill, they seldom do well in CA tracks because they're harder surfaces.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
last year they did well, but I believe that will not be the norm. The history of Bc races is they don't do well in cali,but you cant tell them that, they take one good year as proof that there horses are far superior. We will see in two weeks. There are a few horses I like on the east coast this year. Classic is definitely wide open. The other races could play to horse for course, dirt mile, sprint's, juvs and f&m turf
Mark More than 1 year ago
Verrazano is going to win by 5+ .
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Should of raced in kelso, taking on older for first Time 3000 miles away. He will be tough, last gunfighter, fed biz will be strong competitors. This is not the Haskell.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Mark More than 1 year ago
He will win BC mile for fun then go on to win cigar mile and eclipse. He will win geared down on the SA surface . Then romp in cigar. Now you know why no kelso.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
We will see. Race will come down to the wire. Imo
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Scratch last gun fighter ? 30-1 in classic probably
B More than 1 year ago
Workouts on paper are so meaningless to me. I've seen horses train slow and win brilliantly and train brilliantly and run slow. For those old enough, remember when they used to race many of them much more often instead of so many workouts? Makes sense to me. If you're gonna run them, might as well do it for some money. The further back you go in time, the more they were raced instead of having works.
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
Your name wouldn't happen to be Barry Abrams is it?
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
Thats why its good know which trainers work slow and which trainers work fast. I disagree completely. They are integral piece in the handicapping puzzle.
Geral John Pinault More than 1 year ago
I'll be playing my regular Breeders Cup bet on Friday - a 3 race, $50 Win & Place Parlay. It is an excellent strategy to use on such a day. Two years ago I hit this bet for $2400!!!
Bob More than 1 year ago
Wow that's hard to hit. Hard to hit 3 Show bets in a row... Strategy?
Frank Raspy More than 1 year ago
Lie and hope someone believes it!