Aug 31, 2012
Love and Pride upsets Royal Delta to win Personal Ensign Stakes
By: SPORTS NETWORK
Saratoga Springs, NY (Sports Network) - Love and Pride got an excellent ride from jockey John Velazquez to defeat champion filly Royal Delta in Sunday's $600,000 Personal Ensign Stakes at Saratoga Race Course. The 4-year-old filly covered the 1 1/8-miles on a fast track in 1:49.22.
Royal Delta, the 2011 champion 3-year-old filly, was sent off as the 3-4 favorite in the six horse field. Second in the betting at 2-1 was It's Tricky with Love and Pride at 10-1.
At the start, It's Tricky, ridden by Eddie Castro, went to her knees with her nose touching the track. Going to the lead was Brushed by a Star followed by Love and Pride along with Royal Delta.
It's Tricky made up ground heading into the backstretch to join the leaders and move into fourth behind Brushed by a Star, Love and Pride and Royal Delta.
Around the far turn Love and Pride took over the lead as the favorite moved into second from the outside. Quickly gaining ground coming off the turn was It's Tricky along the rail.
Entering the stretch Love and Pride had a short lead over It's Tricky with Royal Delta faltering in the middle of the stretch. Down the stretch Love and Pride shook loose from It's Tricky as the favorite made a final attempt to go to the front.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Love and Pride held off a late surge by Royal Delta to win the Personal Ensign by a half-length. It's Tricky held on to third followed by Tiz Miz Sue, Brushed by a Star and R Gypsy Gold.
The Personal Ensign is a Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" race giving Love and Pride an automatic spot in the Ladies' Classic on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita.
It was the second win in the stakes for Pletcher who previously won with Fleet Indian in 2006. Velazquez earlier won the Personal Ensign aboard Summer Colony (2002) and Storm Flag Flying (2004).
Owned by Green Hills Farm, Love and Pride added $360,000 to her bankroll. The filly has won six of 15 career starts for $775,760.
Love and Pride was coming off a fourth-place finish to Royal Delta in the Delaware Handicap after setting the early pace. On June 16 at Delaware Park she won the Obeah going wire-to-wire.
Love and Pride returned $22.00, $6.70 and $3.50. Royal Delta paid $2.70 and $2.10, and It's Tricky paid $2.40 to show.
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