Photo courtesy Eleanor Gustafson/Coglianese Photos
By Melissa Bauer-Herzog, America's Best Racing
Royal Delta, last year’s Champion Older Female, returned to the track on Sunday for her 2013 debut, where she toyed with the field before drawing away approaching the far turn to win the Sabin Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Ridden by Mike Smith for trainer Bill Mott, Royal Delta dominated her four foes, winning by 4 3/4 lengths over Team Block's All For Thee. Second choice Grace Hall finished third in the race, the two had last met in the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic (G1). Royal Delta was the victress in that race with Grace Hall finishing fourth. Royal Delta covered the 1 1/16 mile distance on the dirt in a time of 1:43.31 to take home the $60,000 winner's share of the purse.
Royal Delta, who sold for $8.5 million at the 2011 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale, was running in Besilu Stables’ colors. Her Sabin victory was the fifth in six starts Royal Delta and took her lifetime earnings to $3,763,851.
Royal Delta paid $2.80 to win.
For an Equibase chart, click here.
ROYAL DELTA AND MIKE SMITH RETURN TO THE WINNER'S CIRCLE
Photo courtesy Courtney Heeney/Coglianese Photos