Royal Delta, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic, has returned to the competent hands of Hall of Fame trainer, Bill Mott. Royal Delta was purchased by Benjamin Leon Jr. for the royal price of $8.5 million at Keeneland’s November breeding stock sale, and had been on his farm since purchase. The purchase price was the 3rd highest in sale history, as Leon eventually outbid Frank Stronach for the daughter of Empire Maker.
Leon’s Besilu Stables usually relies on future Hall of Fame trainer, Todd Pletcher, to train his horses. However, Mott has not only trained Royal Delta through her career thus far, but also her dam and granddam giving him unparalleled familiarity with the filly. Leon has stated that his decision was based on what was best for the horse. Mott is the all-time leader in victories and stakes wins at Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby. He enjoyed a successful Fall Meet that included winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic with Drosselmeyer. He ended the meet with a record of nine wins from 22 starters.
Now that Royal Delta is back in Florida at Payson Park, the plan is to prepare her for a shot at making history. Leon and Mott are eyeing the Dubai World Cup in March for the filly, with a possible prep at Gulfstream earlier in the year. Should Royal Delta win the World Cup, she would be the first female to do so.