Royal Delta & Grace Hall to Return in Sabin

Royal Delta & Grace Hall to Return in Sabin


Besilu Stable’s 5-year-old mare Royal Delta was last seen under colors winning the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 3 with Alpha Delta Stable’s Grace Hall finishing fourth.

Some 3 1/2 months later, the two are expected to meet again in Sunday’s $100,000 Sabin Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.

The 1 1/16 miles Sabin will highlight the weekend stakes action at Gulfstream, beginning Saturday with the spotlight on long-distance turf runners competing in renewals of the $150,000 Mac Diarmida Stakes (G2) and $100,000 The Very One Stakes, both races to be run at 1 3/8 miles on turf, the latter for fillies and mares.

Royal Delta and Grace Hall will use the Sabin to launch their new campaigns in different directions. Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott has indicated two-time Eclipse champion and Ladies Classic winner Royal Delta is bound for another bid against colts in the $10 million Dubai World Cup (G1) on Saturday, March 30 while Grace Hall could come right back to run in the $150,000 Rampart Stakes (G3) on Florida Derby Day March 30.

Royal Delta was timed a sharp half-mile Sunday at Payson Park in :48 1/5.

A daughter of Empire Maker, Royal Delta made her 2012 season debut in the Sabin after being purchased by Benjamin Leon’s Besilu Farm for $8.5 million at the 2011 Keeneland November sales. She finished a well-beaten second to Awesome Maria before a disappointing trip to Dubai when she finished ninth in the World Cup. Royal Delta returned to the U.S. and ran out another title campaign.

Probable/possible starters to face Royal Delta and Grace Hall in the Sabin include Team Block’s All for Thee, Britlyn Stable’s Class Included, Howard Whitebred’s Go Unbridled and Tonys Investments; My Pal Chrisy.

Probable/possible starters for the Mac Diarmida include Wachtel Stable and partners’ Amira’s Prince,  Kinghaven Farm and partners’ Fifty Proof, Brian Miller’s Gossip, Team Block’s Ioya Bigtime, Richard Sherman’s Nikki’s Sandcastle, Resolute Group’s Teaks North and Shivmangal Racing’s Shkspeare Shilayah.

Probable/possible to line up for The Very One are St. George Farm’s Closing Range, Schroeder Farm and partners’ Kadaya, Green Grass Stable’s Private Affair, Gary Chervenell’s Seanchai and Juddmonte Farm’s Starformer.