08/13/2012 4:38PM

Saratoga: Royal Delta sharp in breeze for Personal Ensign

Email
Barbara D. Livingston
Royal Delta is working toward a start in the Personal Ensign Invitational Handicap on Aug. 26 at Saratoga.

Royal Delta provided further proof that her hard-fought victory in last month’s Delaware Handicap took little out her as she breezed a sharp five furlongs in 1:00.66 on Monday morning over the Oklahoma training track.

Royal Delta, last year’s champion 3-year-old filly, is preparing for a start in the Personal Ensign Invitational Handicap here Aug. 26. Royal Delta won the Delaware Handicap by a neck over Tiz Miz Sue on July 21, racing on a surface she did not seem to relish.

“She came back as good as you could come back from any race after a race like that,” trainer Bill Mott said.

While Mott said he was looking for a good work Monday morning, he said something in the 1:01-and-change range “would have been fine.”

“She went off the right way and finished up nicely,” Mott said. “We’re two weeks out, so a decent work was probably in order.”

[Complete coverage of racing at Saratoga: News, PPs, and video]

The first list of invitations for the Personal Ensign have been published. Among the invitees under consideration to run are Absinthe Minded, Brushed by a Star, It’s Tricky, and R Gypsy Gold.

To Honor and Serve eyes Woodward

Mott also was happy with how well To Honor and Serve worked Monday morning and appears to be pointing him to the Woodward Handicap Invitational on Sept. 1. On Monday, To Honor and Serve worked five furlongs in 1:01.60 over the Oklahoma training track. To Honor and Serve has not run since finishing fourth in the Suburban at Belmont on July 7.

“There’s a very good possibility we could run in the Woodward,” Mott said. “We’re getting a little break in the weather, [it’s] a little cooler. You can see he’s eating better and acting better.”

Mott indicated that To Honor and Serve has been adversely affected by the heat. The Suburban was run on a hot day at Belmont, and Mott felt the weather compromised the horse’s performance.

The Woodward is expected to include Mucho Macho Man, who on Sunday worked a very sharp half-mile in 47 seconds.

Wise Dan, winner of Saturday’s Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap on turf, also is under consideration for the Woodward.