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Royal Delta captures Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic

Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Three-year-old filly Royal Delta overtook rival Plum Pretty down the stretch to win the $2 million Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic at Churchill Downs. With Jose Lezcano in the saddle the filly toured the 1 1/8-miles in 1:50.78 to complete the first day of the World Championships.

Royal Delta was coming into the Ladies' Classic off a second-place finish to Havre de Grace in the Beldame last month at Belmont Park. For the Friday race she was the 2-1 co-favorite with Plum Pretty in the nine-horse field.

Lezcano had his mount stalking the pace that was set by Plum Pretty. At the top of the stretch Plum Pretty took a solid lead and appeared to be set for victory.

Trained by Bill Mott, Royal Delta came driving down the track to the leader's outside and went on to post a 2 1/4-length win. It's Tricky, the 9-2 third pick, got past Plum Pretty to finish second.

Getting up for third was Pachattack with Ultra Blend in fourth and Plum Pretty fading to fifth.

Royal Delta is now the leading three-year-old filly in the country. Earlier this year she won the Black-Eyed Susan and Alabama Stakes. She was third behind It's Tricky and Plum Pretty in the Coaching Club American Oaks.

The filly gives her trainer his fourth win in the Ladies' Classic and adds $1.08 million to her bankroll. In eight career starts Royal Delta has five wins and $1.7 million.

Mott captured the race last year with Unrivaled Belle and in 1997 and 1998 with Ajina and Escena, respectively.

Royal Delta returned $6.40, $4.00 and $3.20. It's Tricky paid $5.00 and $3.80, and Pachattack paid $6.00 to show.

11/04 20:01:56 ET

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