Royal Delta (Grade 3)- $150.000 Purse
GP- For Fillies and Mares Four Years Old and Upward
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Dirt
February 26, 2022
Eight horses are lined up and ready to go in the seventh running of the Grade 3 Royal Delta, a race that is run a little more than a mile at GP. It first appeared on the schedule as a Grade 2, and with a $200.000 purse, but was downgraded to a Grade 3 in 2018. Last year, the purse was at a low point, $100.000, so it is good to see it restored to the amount of the prior two years, if not the original amount. The great Z Command was the winner of the race last year, adding it as one of the many accomplishments in her, as of press time, 35-race career. She won’t be here this year, but her trainer, Smokey Stover, is bringing another with a long history. Let’s meet her and the rest of the field now!
#1- Forever Phooey Party (Night Rider Stables, ridden by J J Castellano)- We begin with a horse that did run in this race last year, but it was not one of the highlights of her season, placing sixth and missing by seven lengths. Later in 2021, she did win the Grade 2 Fleur De Lis Handicap and had a stretch over the summer where she was running real well. It’s been a little while since we have seen her have consistency, but a runner up showing in the Bayakoa Handicap in December, against three others, is a decent bright spot.
#2- Antiquated Story (Nakamura Stables, ridden by R M Hernandez)- Not really sure what to say about this horse, given two of her last four starts have been wins at FP and GRP, giving smaller stables who like to run for those purses not much of a chance. After the prestigious GRP victory, she showed she can handle top horses too, placing second in the $100.000 Bay Ridge at AQU. That’s more like it! Hopefully she stays at or near this level.
#3- Zombie Storm (La Canada Racehorses, ridden by J R Leparoux)- This Commanding The Storm mare has won ten times in 27 starts, and brought a two race winning streak into the HOU Ladies Classic last month. The usual frontrunner simply did not fire that day, getting left behind at the start and never being able to move to the front. Her starts seem imperative to her running well (much more than the average virtual racehorse), as a prior race from July also shows that trend. When she’s at or near the lead to start, she runs well.
#4- Table For One (Alydar Stables, ridden by J Alvarado)- An inconsistent horse since June, but prior to that she really had no such trouble. One win in six starts, which was an open allowance at KEE, but has struggled when put in races for much higher purses. Had better success in her last outing, placing second of four in the Ladies Handicap from AQU last month and the trainer will hope to see more of that here.
#5- Widen Your View (Mwn Racing, ridden by C J Lanerie)- Purchased in the September 2020 auction for $26.270 after a solid career to that point, and then proceeded to have the next fourteen months off. At last, in November 2021, Mwn Racing raced her, and she won a statebred optional claimer at FL. Her two races after have been against NY breds, including a win in her last start, the $100.000 Bay Ridge. I guess patience has paid off for the trainer so we’ll see just how much better she can become.
#6- Tenrikyo (Smokey Stover, ridden by S X Bridgmohan)- This winner of over $2,700.000 for her career did run in the BC Fillies and Mares Sprint, but she would fail to beat any of her rivals. Likely due to that, we have only seen her in open allowances since then. She’d win each, taking a race at FG before one at SA over Tamalpais, and a horse named The Gold Coast that I am going to plug just because I can. That victory, by three lengths, show she is ready to come back into graded competition, but not quite for a huge purse yet. She was strong in that open allowance, and I expect her to be just as good here.
#7- Slim Trim And Grim (Wood Duck Stables, ridden by R J Albarado)- This filly has finished in the exacta in eight of her eleven starts, but only twice has she won. Overall, she is very consistent in getting some part of the purse and her only bad race up to this point was the Grade 1 Alabama, which is naturally against the elite, but may simply have been too long for her more than anything else. Eventually, she is going to get that signature win, but until she does, I’d rather put her in my picks but not on top of them.
#8- Starship Twister (TwinTowersRacing, ridden by P Lopez)- In her last race, she went wire to wire in winning the $100.000 Ladies Handicap. Her last two races have seen her go out to the lead early, and it should be noted somewhere here that many of these horses have recently been jumping right out to the lead. She’s tried to run in a few Grade 1’s, but seems to have found her spot running in this type of stake.