10/22/2012 12:46PM

Royal Delta pre-entered in both Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic and BC Classic

Barbara D. Livingston
Royal Delta works five furlongs in 59.45 seconds Monday morning over Belmont’s main track.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Ever since Royal Delta’s devastating 9 1/2-length victory in the Grade 1 Beldame Invitational here Sept. 29, her connections have been focused on defending her title in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic at Santa Anita.

On Monday, owner Benjamin Leon and trainer Bill Mott gave themselves the option to change their mind.

Royal Delta on Monday was pre-entered for both the $2 million Ladies’ Classic on Nov. 2 and the $5 million Classic the following day, according to Mott. The Ladies’ Classic, run at 1 1/8 miles, was made her first preference, while the Classic, where she would face males at 1 1/4 miles, was made her second preference.

“He just wants to be in position to have the option if at the last minute we change our mind, if there were a bunch of defections out of the Classic,” Mott said after making the pre-entry.

Mott pre-entered three other horses – Ron the Greek, Flat Out, and To Honor and Serve – in the Classic, a race he won last year with Drosselmeyer.

[BREEDERS' CUP 2012: DRF top 10 lists, video replays, latest news]

Entries are made and post positions assigned for all 15 Breeders’ Cup races on Oct. 29. Since the Ladies’ Classic and Classic are on different days, Breeders’ Cup rules would permit Royal Delta to be entered in both races, provided neither race is oversubscribed.

Mott said if the decision were his, Royal Delta would run in the Ladies’ Classic in part because Leon has already said that Royal Delta would race next year with the likelihood of pointing to the Classic at that time.

“I think we should go in the Ladies’ Classic,” Mott said. “We talked about it next year trying it on the way out if she makes another season.

“It’s not any indication of what she can and can’t do,” Mott added. “It’s more an indication of me than her.”

Monday morning, Royal Delta indicated that she’d be ready for whatever her connections decide as she worked a strong five furlongs in 59.45 seconds over Belmont’s main track. Under exercise rider Rodolphe Brisset, Royal Delta went her first three furlongs in 35.93 before Brisset “loosened my reins a little” to let her finish in 23.52.

Said Mott: “She couldn’t have gone any better.”

Later, Mott worked his other three Classic contenders. Ron the Greek, in company with the Argentine-bred and South American Group 1 winner Grand Berry, worked five furlongs in 1:00.39 over the training track, getting his final quarter in 23.96. Ron the Greek had added company as in the stretch he had to go around another horse who was working at the same time.

“Ron the Greek worked terrific,” Mott said. “To me, that was as good as any of his works for him. He’s generally not a good work horse.”

After the second renovation break, Flat Out and To Honor and Serve both worked five furlongs by themselves.

Flat Out, under exercise rider Steve Schmez, worked five furlongs in 1:00.04, with a final quarter in 23.97. Flat Out lost a left-hind shoe at some point and did not change his leads until after the wire.

“I don’t know when he lost it – before the work, after the work, or during the work,” Mott said. “He went along all right.”

Mott said Flat Out wears bar shoes on all four feet and that “the shoes are a little bulkier” than regular shoes. Mott said Flat out, the two-time Jockey Club Gold Cup winner, would not run in bar shoes in the Classic.

To Honor and Serve completed Mott’s morning with a five-furlong drill in 1:00.54 with a final quarter in 23.97.

Brisset said it was To Honor and Serve’s best work over the training track “since the beginning of the spring.”