Thoroughbred Racing

It's Royal Delta again in Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic

Arcadia, CA (Sports Network) - The 29th edition of the Breeders' Cup World Championships got underway Friday at Santa Anita Park, highlighted by Royal Delta winning her second Ladies' Classic. The World Championships will continue Saturday with the remaining nine events.

Champion filly Royal Delta successfully defended her crown in winning the $2 million Ladies' Classic. With Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith in the saddle, the filly toured the 1 1/8-miles in 1:48.80 to complete the first day of the Breeders' Cup.

Royal Delta went off as the 8-5 favorite in the eight-horse field. The 4-year- old filly, trained by Bill Mott, went to the lead early and never looked back as she gave her trainer his third straight Ladies' Classic victory.

Finishing second, 1 1/2-lengths behind the winner, was 2011 Juvenile Fillies champ My Miss Aurelia. Include Me Out was third followed by Grace Hall, Love and Pride, Awesome Feather and Class Included.

Alabama Stakes winner Questing was pulled up on the backstretch.

Owned by Besilu Stables, Royal Delta adds $1.08 million to her bankroll, which now stands at $3.7 million. The filly has won nine of 15 career starts. She joins Bayakoa (1989-90) as the only repeat winners of the race.

The victory is Mike Smith's 16th Breeders' Cup win, snapping a tie with Jerry Bailey. Last year Jose Lezcano was aboard Royal Delta in winning the Ladies' Classic at Churchill Downs.

Overall, Mott has five Ladies' Classic wins. He saddled Unrivaled Belle two years ago along with Ajina (1997) and Escena (1998).

Royal Delta returned $5.40, $3.60 and $2.60. My Miss Aurelia paid $5.80 and $4.00, and Include Me Out paid $5.20 to show.

The day's six championship races began with Hightail defeating odds-on favorite Merit Man to capture the second running of the $500,000 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint.

Only five 2-year-olds left the starting gate following the morning scratch of Super Ninety Nine and the late scratch of South Floyd. Partly owned by Rick Pitino, South Floyd was scratched during the pre-race warm ups with a problem of his left front leg.

Merit Man, ridden by Pat Valenzuela, broke sharply from the gate to take the early lead. With Rajiv Maragh riding, Hightail, a 15-1 longshot, was racing fourth through the backstretch and around the turn.

Coming down the stretch, Merit Man was battling Hazardous with Hightail along the inside. In late stretch, Hightail found something extra to pass the top two runners and was defeat the favorite at wire by a nose.

Sweet Shirley Mae finished third followed by Hazardous, and Ceiling Kitty.

The time for the Juvenile Sprint was 1:09.75 on a fast track.

Owned by Bluegrass Hall, Hightail earned $270,000 with the win and gave trainer D. Wayne Lukas his 19th career Breeders' Cup victory. Hightail becomes the first horse to break his maiden with a Breeders' Cup win.

Hightail returned $32.80, $7.20 and $3.40. Merit Man paid $2.40 and $2.10, and Sweet Shirley Mae paid $2.40 to show.

Calidoscopio, ridden by Aaron Gryder, rallied down the stretch to capture the $500,000 Breeders' Cup Marathon. The 9-year-old covered the 1 3/4-miles in 2:57.25.

Setting the early pace in the Marathon was Jaycito with Commander running second and 3-year-old Atigun racing third in the 13-horse field.

Jaycito, with Joe Talamo in the saddle, set the pace through the first half of the race at which point Atigun and jockey Mike Smith took the lead. Atigun, third in this year's Belmont Stakes, took the field up the backstretch the second time and was joined by Juniper Pass.

Atigun and Juniper Pass dueled around the final turn and into the stretch. Rallying down the middle of the stretch was Calidoscopio. The 17-1 longshot cruised past the leaders and registered a 4 1/4-length victory over Grassy.

Atigun finished third with Juniper Pass settling for fourth. Rounding the order of finish were Not Abroad, Balladry, Eldaafer, Romp, Commander, Almudena, Jaycito, Sense of Purpose and Fame And Glory.

Worth Repeating was scratched in the morning after coming up lame to bring the field to 13.

Trained by Guillermo Frankel, Calidoscopio earned $270,000 with the win after shipping in from South America. The 9-year-old has won 10 of 40 career starts for $853,154.

Gryder recorded his first ever Breeders' Cup victory.

Calidoscopio paid $36.40, $16.00 and $9.60. Grassy returned $12.40 and $7.60, and Atigun paid $3.40 to show.

French invader Flotilla found an opening down the stretch to win the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. The 2-year-old ran the mile in 1:34.64 on a firm grass course.

Ridden by Christophe Lemaire, Flotilla was racing in mid-pack through the early going. At the top of the stretch the filly split horses to find room to run.

Inside the furlong pole, Flotilla accelerated between horses and went on to post a 1 1/4-length win over Watsdachances. Finishing third in the 14-horse field was Summer of Fun followed by early pacesetter Tara From the Cape, The Gold Cheongsam, Waterway Run, Moonwalk, Sky Lantern, Nancy O, Infanta Branca, Flashy Ways, Kitten's Point, Spring Venture and Oscar Party.

Scratched from the race was Sustained.

Flotilla, trained by Mikel Delzangles, earned $540,000 with the win. Sent off at 11-1, the filly posted her first career win in three starts and has earnings of $582,219.

Flotilla returned $24.80, $10.80 and $7.80. Watsdachances paid $6.40 and $5.40, and Summer of Fun paid $19.40 to show.

Beholder, ridden by Garrett Gomez, outran heavy favorite Executiveprivilege down the stretch to win the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. The 2-year-old filly ran the 1 1/16-miles in 1:43.61.

Trained by Richard Mandella, Beholder took the lead out of the gate and set the pace the entire way. Pressing the pace was undefeated Kauai Katie with 3-2 favorite Executiveprivilege running third in the eight-horse field.

Beholder, owned by Spendthrift Farm, began to open her advantage around the final turn as Executiveprivilege and jockey Rafael Bejarano moved into second.

The pacesetter was on the inside as the favorite came running at her down the middle of the track. Beholder was able to hold off Executiveprivilege and post a one-length victory over the Bob Baffert-trained filly.

Finishing third was Dreaming of Julia with Kauai Katie fourth followed by Spring in the Air, Broken Spell, Renee's Queen and Almost an Angel.

Beholder got $1.08 million with the win and gave Mandella his seventh career Breeders' Cup victory. The filly has now won three of five starts for $1.2 million.

Gomez has won 13 Breeders' Cup races.

Beholder paid $9.80, $4.60 and $3.00. Executiveprivilege returned $3.40 and $2.40, and Dreaming of Julia paid $3.20 to show.

In the race prior to the Ladies' Classic, Zagora, ridden by Javier Castellano, drove to victory versus 10 rivals in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf. The 5-year-old mare covered the 1 1/4-miles in 1:59.70 on a firm grass course.

Trained by Chad Brown, Zagora was racing fourth most the way as Star Billing set the pace. Running second was highly regarded Marketing Mix with 3-year-old filly In Lingerie racing third.

The top four runners kept their positions through most of the race as 8-5 favorite The Fugue was running just few lengths from the lead.

As the field hit the stretch, The Fugue was trapped along the inside unable to find any running room. Zagora took advantage of the favorite's problem and drove to victory.

Owned by Martin Schwartz, Zagora registered a 3/4-length win over Marketing Mix as The Fugue could only finish third. Ridasiyna finished fourth as the 5-1 second choice.

Completing the order of finish were Lady of Shamrock, I'm A Dreamer, Up, Star Billing, In Lingerie, Nahrain and Stormy Lucy.

Nereid was an early scratch.

The victory was worth $1.08 million and gave Zagora her 10th win in 22 lifetime starts. Notching her first win at 1 1/4-miles, Zagora has banked $2.3 million.

Zagora returned $20.40, $7.80 and $5.00. Marketing Mix paid $6.00 and $3.80, and The Fugue paid $2.80 to show.

Saturday's races will be completed with the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic.

11/02 20:43:49 ET