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Royal Delta seeks three Distaff titles in row - By Tom Krish

Posted on - 01 Nov 2013

Royal Delta seeks three Distaff titles in row
By Tom Krish
There is no rain in the forecast in the Arcadia area for Friday and Saturday. Arcadia is where Santa Anita is located. The 30th Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be held at Santa Anita on November 1 and 2.  Arcadia is a suburb of Los Angeles in California.
On Friday, five Breeders’ Cup races will be contested. The big race on Friday is the Distaff for fillies and mares.  The first BC race is the Marathon over 14 furlongs. Post Time is 1 45 PM Pacific Standard Time. There are 10 runners.
The Juvenile Turf follows at 2 25 PM. There are 13 runners in this mile race. It is for two year-old colts and geldings.
At 3 05 PM, 12 runners will go to post in the Dirt Mile. This race is for three year-olds and up.
Juvenile Fillies will be in the spotlight as 14 of them go postward in the mile (grass) event. Post time is 3 50 PM.
The Distaff, over nine furlongs, has six runners. On paper, five of them run with a chance. Royal Delta won this event in 2011 and 2012. She is now five. Princess of Sylmar has been unstoppable since winning the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs in early May. Princess of Sylmar beat Royal Delta in the Beldame at Saratoga in the last week of September. Let us now take a look at Beholder. Winner of the Juvenile Filly (dirt) race in 2012, Beholder was narrowly beaten by Princess Of Sylmar in the Oaks at Churchill. At Santa Anita, Beholder has been at her best. In 2013, Close Hatches is the only distaffer to have beaten Princess of Sylmar in the Gazelle at Aqueduct in early April. Authenticity has been a model of consistency. Street Girl is a 30/1 chance in the official morning line and seems outclassed.
What do I like in the Distaff? I believe the race will come down to a duel between Princess of Sylmar and Beholder. Royal Delta has suffered two losses since her return from Dubai. Princess of Sylmar keeps finding more. Beholder has only one half length to find on the Princess based on their Oaks clash. Santa Anita gives Beholder the home ground advantage. However, Princess of Sylmar has shown remarkable versatility. My pick is the Princess.
There were 67 qualifying races run in 10 countries to determine starting berth in the BC races. It is the ‘you win and you’re in’ concept.
Racing writers and the media, from the world over, have assembled in Los Angeles. At the Courtyard Marriott, where my wife and I have a well-furnished room, there is a press center that caters to every need.
There are shuttle buses going back and forth from the hotel to Santa Anita. This is the seventh time that Santa Anita is hosting the Breeders’ Cup races. The venue will again be Santa Anita in 2014.
Richard Hughes is here. Ryan Moore and William Buick have rides. Olivier Peslier has the ride on Vorda, a fancied runner. Joseph O’Brien has one ride in Declaration of War, in the Classic on Saturday.
Among the American riders, Ramon Dominguez will be conspicuous by his absence. John Velasquex, the biggest money winner in American racing, has several rides. Mike Smith will be in action. Gary Stevens, now 50, will be on many high profile horses. Javier Catellano will be plying his trade.
There are nine BC races on Saturday. The feature is the five million-dollar Classic over 10 furlongs on the dirt. Game On Dude, twice beaten in this race, is trying to justify the maxim, ‘the third time is the charm.’ Mike Smith will ride.
Wise Dan will defend his title in the Turf Mile. He will be opposed by Olympic Glory who comes off a win in the Q E II Stakes at Ascot on Champions’ Day on October 19.
As the BC races get under way, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata begin their winter campaigns.We will be in India in the final week of November. These visits to India are emotion-charged.

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