Horseracing

Royal Delta wins Delaware Handicap

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STANTON, Del. (AP)

Royal Delta went right to the front at the start of the Grade 1, $750,000 Delaware Handicap and led all the way Saturday in a 10-3/4-length victory over four overmatched rivals.

Under confident handling by jockey Mike Smith, Royal Delta moved clear soon after the start, then opened a long lead after five furlongs. She was almost seven lengths in front after a mile and opened up even more through the stretch and was a dominating winner under only the mildest of urging.

''This is about as easy as it gets,'' Smith said, ''She really brought her A game today. She was cooler than last time even thought it was hotter here. I knew early on she was going to be tough, she got into her rhythm early and was going so easy. When we turned for home my main concern was just to make sure I stayed aboard. She should certainly move forward off this effort.''

Royal Delta returned $2.80 for her second straight victory in the race, covering 1-1/4 miles in 2:02.04

''When she's on her game, she shows it early. And you could see right after the start that she was into her rhythm,'' Mott said, ''She covers a lot of ground. And when we looked at the race, we thought she could be the best speed in there so we decided if she broke well to just go on with it.

"You can just put a line through the Dubai race, and she didn't bring her A game last time out. She had been training so well for this one, so well we thought maybe she trained too well but she ran just like she's been training. We're looking to go in the Personal Ensign at Saratoga for her next start.''

Long shot She's All in, under apprentice Victor Carrrasco, rallied from last to finish second. And Why Not was third, and Centring finished fourth.

Royal Delta, trained by Bill Mott, earned $450,000 to raise her career earnings to $4,251,126.

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