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Jan 25, 2013

Fleur de Lis purse bump aimed at Royal Delta


Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Two-time Eclipse Award winner Royal Delta has an added 25,000 reasons for returning to Churchill Downs in June. The champion mare will have the opportunity to defend her crown in the Fleur de Lis Handicap with more money on the line than last year.

Churchill Downs announced Tuesday that the 1 1/8-mile race for fillies and mares will have a purse of $175,000 compared to last year's $150,000. Royal Delta, owned by Besilu Stables, won the 2012 Fleur de Lis on her way to being crowned the year's champion Older Female thoroughbred.

Trained by Bill Mott, Royal Delta eventually won her second Breeders' Cup Fillies' Classic on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita with Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith aboard.

She climaxed her season in 2011 with the Ladies' Classic at Churchill Downs and was named champion 3-year-old Filly. Royal Delta starts her 2013 campaign with nine wins in 15 lifetime races for $3,703,851.

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