07/22/2013 3:04PM

DRF Breeding Weekend Wrap: Royal Delta rebounds in Delaware, Princess of Sylmar dominates at Saratoga

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Royal Delta dominated in the Delaware Handicap, rebounding from two losses to start her season.

The opening of Saratoga and Del Mar, respectively, signaled an upturn in graded stakes action around North America that will last through Labor Day as the popular summer meets in upstate New York and Southern California kicked off with stellar racing. Perhaps the most impressive performance of the weekend, however, came on Saturday at Delaware Park, as champion Royal Delta rebounded from a subpar performance last out with an absolutely dominating win in the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap.

The Empire Maker mare, trained by Bill Mott for owner Ben Leon, took command from the outset and cruised through the backstretch unchallenged under Mike Smith. She extended her lead to an insurmountable margin over four overmatched opponents at the quarter pole and won by 10 3/4 lengths, covering 1 1/4 miles in 2:02.04 and earning a 105 Beyer Speed Figure. Mott told Daily Racing Form’s David Grening on Sunday that Royal Delta will point to the Grade 1 Personal Ensign at Saratoga on Aug. 25 for her next start.

Five-year-old Royal Delta won her second consecutive Del ‘Cap on Saturday and appears back on track after finishing 10th in the Dubai World Cup and second in the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis June 15 at Churchill Downs.

She earned champion 3-year-old filly honors in 2011 and was purchased for $8.5 million by Leon at the 2011 Keeneland November breeding stock sale shortly after winning that year’s Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic. Last year, she won the event for a second time and garnered champion older mare honors. Her overall record stands at 11 wins from 19 starts with $4,251,126 in earnings.

Bred by Palides Investments N.V., Ltd., in Kentucky, Royal  Delta is out of multiple Grade 3 winner and $740,000 earner Delta Princess, by A.P. Indy, and is a full sister to Grade 2-placed Empire Way. Delta Princess is out of Group 2 winner Lyphard’s Delta and is a full sister to Grade 1 winner Indy Five Hundred and a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Biondetti. Royal Delta’s family line traces back to 1970s-era star and champion Proud Delta, detailed earlier this year in this pedigree analysis by Mary Simon.

At Saratoga, Princess of Sylmar returned in her first start since a breakthrough win as a longshot in the Kentucky Oaks on May 3 and proved that that performance was no fluke by taking Saratoga’s Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks by a widening six lengths over My Happy Face. The 3-year-old daughter of Ashford Stud stallion Majestic Warrior covered 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.07, good for a 104 Beyer. She improved her record to six wins from eight starts and $1,007,220 in earnings for Pennsylvania-based owner-breeder Ed Stanco, and will point to the Grade 1 Alabama at 1 1/4 miles at the Spa on Aug. 17.

Princess of Sylmar is out of the stakes-placed Catienus mare Storm Dixie. She is from the first crop of promising young stallion and Spa Grade 1 winner Majestic Warrior, who will be profiled in the June 28 issue of DRF Breeding as the week’s Hot Sire.

At Del Mar, an exciting Wednesday opening card featuring divisions of the Oceanside Stakes won by Gervinho (Unusual Heat - Foreverinthegame) and Rising Legend (Rock of Gibraltar – Miswaki Belle) was followed by the seaside track’s first Grade 1 on Saturday, the 1 1/8-mile Eddie Read on turf. Grade 1 Jeranimo unleashed a sustained rally from last of nine entering the backstretch to find clear sailing in the lane and post a 1 1/2-length win under Rafael Bejarano.

The 7-year-old Florida-bred Congaree horse covered the distance in 1:45.80 and earned a Beyer of 95. He picked up his 10th win from 35 starts in an active, accomplished career. Winner of the 2012 Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile and an impressive six Grade 2 races, Jeranimo finished second in the 2011 Eddie Read. He has earned $1,400,864.

Jeranimo is out of the stakes-winning Jeblar mare Jera and is a half-brother to stakes-placed Wealthy Aviator and Tizthen. He is the leading money earner for his sire, five-time Grade 1 winner, $3.2 million earner, and multiple classic-placed Congaree. The stallion, currently at Highcliff at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds, has also sired Grade 1 winner Killer Graces, multiple Grade 3 winner Mythical Power, and Irish Group 3 winner Maoineach, among other stakes winners.

Weekend notes: Two-year-old fillies and colts took center stage in Friday’s Grade 3 Schuylerville and Sunday’s Grade 2 Sanford, respectively, at Saratoga. In the Schuylerville, Kentucky shippers Brazen Persuasion and Bahnah finished in a dead heat, covering six furlongs in 1:12.12 and posting 71 Beyers.

Both fillies were bred in Kentucky and arrived at the Spa off of sharp maiden wins at Churchill Downs. Brazen Persuasion, bred by Tom VanMeter and Brian Kahn, is by Indian Charlie and out of the winning Cat Thief mare Beholden, who has also produced stakes winner Behold de Buy, by E Dubai. She was bought by pinhooker Toby Kight from VanMeter Sales for $57,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale and sold by Kight for $210,000 at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. March sale of selected 2-year-olds in training to L E B.

Bahnah, by Elusive Quality, is out of the multiple Grade 3-winning Glitterman mare Flying Glitter and is a half-sister to stakes-placed Flying Train. She was bred by Aaron and Marie Jones and was bought as a Keeneland September yearling for $62,000 by owners Wayne Sanders and Larry Hirsch via the Taylor Made Sales Agency’s consignment.

In Sunday’s Sanford, Anstu Stables’ homebred Wired Bryan nearly lived up to his name with a 5 1/4-length win. The Stormy Atlantic colt briefly stalked Hollywood Talent early in the six-furlong stakes but took command entering the turn and jetted away to a comfortable lead in early stretch. The colt raced erratically in the final furlong, reacting to jockey Shaun Bridgmohan’s handling, but finished with good energy in 1:11.06. He earned Beyer Figure of 80.

Wired Bryan improved to two-for-two in his young career, following a 7 1/4-length win in his debut June 19 at Belmont. Bred in New York, he is out of the stakes-placed Runaway Groom mare Red Melody, who has also produced multiple stakes-placed Red Run Red.

Lastly, Darwin, 2012's highest-priced juvenile sold at public auction in North America, improved to two-for-two since relocating to Ireland with his first stakes win in the Group 3 Minstrel at the Curragh. The 3-year-old colt from the first crop of champion Big Brown, who sold for $1.3 million to Coolmore agent Demi O'Byrne at the Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale, won the seven-furlong Minstrel by 1 3/4 lengths and has now won three of four starts for his career for earnings of $118,610. He scored in his debut last October at Belmont before finishing fourth in the Grade 2 Nashua to Violence and then shipping to Europe for owners Derrick Smith, Susan Magnier, and Michael Tabor.

Darwin, bred in Pennsylvania by Lansdon Robbins and Tom Hansen, is out of the winning Silver Ghost mare Cool Ghoul and is a half-brother to stakes winner Dagnabit and stakes-placed Bad Boy Rising, both by Freud. His second dam is Grade 1 winner Single Blade.

Big Brown, winner of the 2008 Kentucky Derby and Preakness, stands at Three Chimneys in Midway, Ky.