However, the Ladies’ Classic would be a bittersweet victory for Bill Mott and Palides Investments as they saw their silks go under the wire for the last win together. Royal Delta’s 2 1/2 length victory concluded her racing with Palides Investments as she will be sent to sell at Keenland next week during the dispersal of her owner’s holdings.
The three-year-old filly went off as the favorite in the race and sat behind pace setter Plum Pretty before making her move when the Kentucky Oaks winner faded in the stretch. Royal Delta’s win over It’s Tricky and Pachattack (second and third respectively) seem to have sealed the Eclipse Three-Year-Old Championship for her.
“With the other two good 3‑year‑old fillies being in there, I think this put us in very good position for an Eclipse award for our mare,” Trainer Bill Mott said.
The Empire Maker-Delta Princess (A.P. Indy) filly gives Mott his second Ladies Classic win in two years and even with her uncertain future, Mott is unlikely to forget her win any time soon.
Saturday’s Breeder’s Cup started with the longest race of the weekend when the Marathoners stepped onto the track to run 1 3/4 miles over the dirt, a half mile longer than the Classic horses. The long shot’s winning ways of the day would start early with this race leading the way.
Afleet Again came into the Breeders’ Cup Marathon with no wins on the season, although he did have three places in eight starts. However, none of that mattered on Nov. 5 as he raced to the wire 2 1/4 lengths ahead of Birdrun. Donn winner Giant Oak got up for third, a head behind Birdrun and 3 1/4 in front of Pleasant Prince. Last year’s Marathon winner finished sixth.
Afleet Alex has a record of four wins in 21 starts on dirt and has tried turf twice, which seemed to be a failed experiment. The connections realized the horse wanted longer and were rewarded ten-fold by that decision this weekend.
“Going back to last year with the Belmont, he made a nice run at the end of the year,” Owner Bob Krangel said. “In the Haskell and the Travers, he always seemed like he would run up to the last group and kind of hang a little bit. No real physical reason for it, but that’s just his personality. Very laid back. He’s kind of the ultimate plodder is what you call him.”
Two horses did have to be pulled up in the race with Meeznah being vanned back to the barn due to exhaustion. Race favorite A. U. Miner broke down coming into the stretch and was quickly pulled up by Calvin Borel. The horse was diagnosed with broken bones in his left front leg and shipped to Lexington where he is scheduled to undergo surgery early in the week. It is expected A.U. Miner will live.
After the shocking Marathon, the two year olds returned to the track for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at one mile.