08/04/2011 3:56PM

Saratoga: Expectations high for Deluxe's debut

Barbara D. Livingston
Deluxe, Kristen Lindsay up at Saratoga on July 21, will make her first North American start Saturday in the De La Rose Stakes.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. − It will be overshadowed by a pair of Grade 1 races being run on Saturday’s card, but the $75,000 De La Rose Stakes for fillies and mares at one mile on turf came up a terrific race, featuring the North American debut of arguably the best-bred horse on the grounds.

Deluxe is a 4-year-old filly by Storm Cat out of the Irish-bred mare Hasili, who has already produced five Grade 1 winners. Deluxe is a half-sister to Banks Hill, Heat Haze, Intercontinental, Cacique, and Champs Elysees, all of whom won Grade 1 races for Juddmonte Farms. Dansili, another progeny of Hasili, is a Group 2 winner.

“The challenge is to get the mare another Grade 1 winner,” said Bill Mott, the trainer of Deluxe. “[Hasili’s] a great mare. It’s a great family without a doubt. We’re lucky to have this one, we just need to get started.”

Deluxe has won 3 of 6 starts and finished fourth to Sarafina in the French Oaks in June 2010. She has not raced since finishing ninth − placed eighth via disqualification − in the Grade 3 Prix de Flore last October at Saint-Cloud.

Deluxe was sent to Mott in January, and he had her on the worktab in late February before he had to stop on her. She returned to the worktab in May and has breezed 10 times leading up to this race. Mott said he had hoped to run in a third-level allowance race at 1 1/16 miles, but that race didn’t fill. This one-mile overnight stakes drew a salty field that includes graded stakes winners Miss Keller, Dynaslew, and Tapitsfly.

“Her training has been steady,” Mott said. “She’s never been known to be one that’s real brilliant in the morning. She kind of came with a reputation of being one that shows up more in the afternoon than she does in the morning.”

Tapitsfly, who won the P.G. Johnson Stakes here as a 2-year-old as well as the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf in 2009, is coming off a neck loss in the Mint Julep Stakes at Churchill in June and has put in two solid workouts over Saratoga’s dirt track leading up to this.