01/22/2013 2:28PM

Gulfstream Park notes: Mott stars Royal Delta, Flat Out on target for 2013 debuts

Barbara D. Livingston
Royal Delta is expected to use the Feb 17. Sabin once again as a prep for her return trip to the Dubai World Cup on March 23.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Bill Mott reported that both Flat Out and his recently crowned older female champion Royal Delta remain on target to make their 2013 debuts here at Gulfstream Park next month.

Flat Out will return in the Donn Handicap on Feb. 9. Flat Out captured the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup and finished third behind Fort Larned to close out his 2012 campaign in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Royal Delta will likely make her much-anticipated 2013 debut eight days later in the Grade 3 Sabin, the same race she used to begin her championship season a year ago.

“They’re both doing well,” Mott said. “We’ll most likely plan for the Sabin with Royal Delta, same as we did last year. It’s not the ideal race for her, but it’s the only one we see.”

Royal Delta is once again expected to use the Sabin as a prep for a return trip to the Dubai World Cup on March 23.

Romans happy with works

Trainer Dale Romans was all smiles after his top 3-year-old prospect Dewey Square completed final preparations for Saturday’s Grade 3 Holy Bull by working five furlongs in 59.31 seconds and galloping out six furlongs in 1:12.13 under jockey Corey Lanerie at Gulfstream on Sunday. Dewey Square worked in a blinker-like hood, but one without cups, the purpose of which was to house a tube used to measure the horse’s breathing during the trial.

“Those weren’t blinkers,” Romans said. “It was a wind-test machine to get a baseline on their air, so if they do start having problems I can test it later. It was a good morning. Dewey Square worked well, O’Prado again worked well, and so did Rightfully So. Even Little Mike, I just got a real easy one in him, and I’m going to come back with a real work, over the main track, next week.”

Romans said he was humbled by the standing ovation he received at Saturday’s Eclipse Award dinner when his name was announced as champion trainer in 2012.

“The reception was a little overwhelming to get a standing ovation from that group,” Romans said. “It was kind of crazy.”

Block sees Bambazonkie progress

Trainer Chris Block, who passed the 1,000-win milestone here earlier this month, was extremely pleased with the performance of his 3-year-old turf prospect Bambazonkie, even though she had to settle for second behind the odds-on Charming Kitten in Sunday’s Kitten’s Joy Stakes. Bambazonkie, a son of Hard Spun who had won his only two previous starts on grass at 2, nearly pulled off the upset despite trying to lug in, hampering jockey Jose Lezcano through the stretch.

“My horse ran much improved. He’s been kind of slow to come around mentally,” Block said. “That’s why I skipped the first stakes here this meet – to kind of let him develop a little more and get ready for this race and see if he’ll take a step forward, and I think he did.”

Block will be busy over the next several weeks with three more stakes-caliber turf horses from his barn, Leading Astray, I O Ireland, and Ioya Bigtime. All three worked over the grass Sunday, Leading Astray going an easy five furlongs in 1:00.34, I O Ireland a half in 48.38 seconds, and Ioya Bigtime five-eighths in 59.71.

“They all got around there just fine, came out of it good, and are on schedule,” Block said. “I O Ireland will run next week in the Sweetest Chant, Leading Astray goes in the Suwannee River, and Ioya Bigtime in the Mac Diarmida.”

Hess liking Kadaya’s prospects

Trainer Bob Hess Jr. continues to be excited about the prospects of his long-winded turf specialist Kadaya, who won for the second time in as many starts in this country, rallying from off the pace to catch Twirl in the final strides of Monday’s main event going 1 3/8 miles on the grass. Joel Rosario registered his third win of the day aboard Kadaya

“I know she dropped pretty far back, but I told Joel I was a little worried about the horse getting too anxious,” Hess said. “I never give my riders too many instructions, I just said keep her relaxed, and he rode her with the utmost confidence. I thought she ran a really nice race, we’re proud of her, and I’m looking forward to having a big summer with her.”

Hess said Kadaya will see action again here later in the meet, either in the Grade 3 The Very One (Feb. 16), the Grade 3 Orchid (March 30), or perhaps both, depending how things transpire over the next couple of months.