07/20/2013 5:07PM

Delaware Park: Royal Delta back in top form with Del Cap victory

Royal Delta, with Mike Smith aboard, cruises to a 10 3/4-length victory, taking the Delaware Handicap for the second time.

The second Delaware Handicap was far easier than the first for Royal Delta, the champion mare who on Saturday blew things open early in taking the annual Delaware Park showcase for the second straight year.

With Mike Smith barely moving aboard her, Royal Delta opened a long lead down the backstretch of the Grade 1, $750,000 Delaware Handicap and went on to stroll home by 10 3/4 lengths.

Last year, Royal Delta was all-out to win the Del Cap by a head over Tiz Miz Sue, but there was no such suspense this time. Royal Delta returned $2.80 after finishing the 1 1/4-mile distance in 2:02.04 over a fast track.

She’s All In was up late to get second among the other four, with And Why Not along for third. Centring and Summer Applause rounded out the order, while Authenticity was an early scratch.

Bill Mott trains Royal Delta for the Besilu Stable of Benjamin Leon. A 5-year-old Kentucky-bred mare by Empire Maker, the two-time Eclipse titlist now has won 11 of 19 starts, with the $450,000 winner’s share lifting her career bankroll to $4,251,126. The 76th Delaware Handicap marked a major improvement over her previous race, which resulted in a runner-up finish behind Funny Proposition in the June 15 Fleur de Lis Handicap at Churchill Downs.

Royal Delta was racing without the bleeder medication Lasix on Saturday.

The $2 exacta (3-1) paid $30 and the $1 trifecta (3-1-5) returned $48.20.