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Jul 27, 2012

Royal Delta digs in to win Del 'Cap


Stanton, DE (Sports Network) - Royal Delta, the 1-2 favorite, held off a determined Tiz Miz Sue down the stretch to capture Saturday's 75th running of the $750,000 Delaware Handicap (Del 'Cap) at Delaware Park. The four-year-old filly covered the 1 1/4 miles in 2:03.51 on a fast track.

Royal Delta, trained by Bill Mott, was making her second straight start with Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith in the saddle. The pair broke from the rail post in the seven horse field.

Taking the lead early and setting the pace was Love and Pride with the favorite racing in second. Close up in third was Cash for Clunkers followed by Tiz Miz Sue and Awesome Maria, the 9-5 second choice. Trailing the field early was Pachattack.

Entering the far turn Royal Delta mounted her rally on the outside to draw even with Love and Pride as Awesome Maria moved into third with Tiz Miz Sue close in fourth.

Royal Delta took the lead entering the stretch as Tiz Miz Sue moved into second with Awesome Maria in third and Love and Pride dropping off the pace. At the top of the stretch the favorite had a clear lead but Tiz Miz Sue, ridden by Joe Rocco Jr., stayed close and began to cut into Royal Delta's advantage.

Royal Delta, last year's champion three-year-old filly, held off a driving Tiz Miz Sue to register a neck victory over the five-year-old mare. Awesome Maria finished third followed by Love and Pride, Daring Reality, Pachattack and Cash for Clunkers.

The victory automatically puts the Eclipse Award winning filly into this year's Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic at Santa Anita in November. The Del 'Cap is a Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" race. Royal Delta won the Ladies' Classic last year at Churchill Downs by 2 1/2 lengths.

Owned by Besilu Stables, Royal Delta won for the second time in four starts this year. The filly adds $450,000 to her bankroll and won for the seventh time in 12 lifetime starts for $2,263,851. The win was the first for Smith in the Del 'Cap.

Royal Delta began 2012 by finishing second, by eight lengths, in the Sabin at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 25 to Awesome Maria. She failed in this year's Dubai World Cup when she finished ninth back in March. Five weeks ago she easily won the Fleur de Lis with her own eight length victory at Churchill Downs.

"She ran about a second and a half faster than the boys that night," Smith said about the Churchill win last month. "She was very impressive. She did it fairly easy that night. She relaxed really well for me and when I asked her to pick it up; she just jumped through the bridle and just drew away."

Last year, prior to winning the Ladies' Classic, Royal Delta notched wins in the Alabama and Black-Eyed Susan Stakes.

Royal Delta returned $3.00, $2.40 and $2.10. Tiz Miz Sue paid $9.80 and $3.60, and Awesome Maria paid $2.10 to show.

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