Check out our predictions and odds for the 2020 Royal Delta Stakes at Gulfstream Park!
|J Castellano||V Oliver|
|T Gaffalione||S Joseph Jr|
|I Ortiz Jr||A Delacour|
|L Reyes||M Williams|
|C Lanerie||S Joseph Jr|
|J Alvarado||R Crighton|
|J Ortiz||C McGaughey|
|E Zayas||J Avila|
$20 Exacta – Mrs. Danvers over Bajan Girl = $20
$10 Exacta – Mrs. Danvers over Eres Tu = $10
$10 Exacta – Bajan Girl over Mrs. Danvers = $10
$5 Exacta – Eres Tu over Mrs. Danvers = $5
Mrs. Danvers (2/1)
Led by Mrs. Danvers and Eres Tu, who both will be coming in off-stakes wins, a field of eight older mares are set to square off in Saturday’s Grade 3 Royal Delta Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Mrs. Danvers is the likely favorite in the 1 1/16-mile test having dominated the Grade 3 Comely at Aqueduct in her last start. The 6 ¼-length romp at Aqueduct was the initial stakes victory for the well-bred daughter of Tapit. Trained by Shug McGaughey, she looks to build upon that coming out party in her first stakes try against older females.
Meanwhile, Eres Tu was a promising filly on the Kentucky Oaks trail a couple of years ago but was out of action for better than 18 months before returning in the allowance race last October at Keeneland. Trained by Arnaud Delacour, she won that, before heading to Maryland to raise her winning streak to three by winning a pair of stakes races at Laurel to close out the year.
Of the rest, Bajan Girl figures to get the most play in the race named after the two-time winner of the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. The daughter of Speightstown was the winner of two straight easy wins over at Gulfstream Park West, before running third behind the classy Letruska last time in the Grade 3 Rampart at Gulfstream Park.
|Royal Delta Stakes Information|
|What||Royal Delta Stakes (Grade 3)|
|When||Saturday, February 20 — 5:16 pm Eastern time|
|How to Watch||TVG|
I always had the feeling that this grey daughter of Tapit, out of an Awesome Again mare was destined for good things. It’s hard to question the judgment of her Hall of Fame trainer, but I believe she was kept in shorter races for too long. Last time, going 9 furlongs, she looked like a very good thing, running away with the Comely in late November. It was also the second time with blinkers on for her in that one. The blinkers seem to have helped, and they should again on Saturday, as she’ll need to stay in touch early on the Gulfstream Park main track. This is not an easy 4-year-old debut, but I think her talent will get the job done in the Royal Delta.
This one has done absolutely nothing wrong since returning from a long layoff. In fact, she was perfect in three starts last year, including two stakes wins at Laurel. While the competition she faced there was solid, I believe this test represents another step forward. A daughter of Malibu Moon, she has good tactical speed that should suit her well on Saturday. Like the top one, she has never raced at Gulfstream before but is also a consistent mare. She certainly could win this, but the bottom line is that I like the upside of Mrs. Danvers just a bit more.
She had the unenviable task of going after one of the top mares in the country last time. It’s no shame to be beaten by Letruska, and she at least kept trying down the stretch to finish third. There is another speed horse in this race, but certainly not of the same class as she saw last time. The daughter of Speightstown has only run on the dirt four times, and after a tough race last time, she could well be ready to show she belongs with graded stakes mares. She certainly looked good in two romps across town before the Rampart. I like her second best.
This one has plenty of experience against good horses but has yet to win one in eight attempts in graded stakes. She has often been competitive, though, including a good second in the Grade 3 Delaware Oaks last summer. The daughter of Gaydar could break through at any time, and she should appreciate the added distance after running a mile and 7 furlongs in her last two. She’s dangerous, but I will side with the three above her.
She is one of two in the Royal Delta trained by Saffie Joseph, Jr. She defeated her stablemate last time when she wired the field on a sloppy Delta Downs track in the Treasure Chest Stakes. It was her third straight front-end win, in a streak that started at Gulfstream Park. The daughter of Lea will have more competition this time around as she looks to knock heads early with Bajan Girl. With other good ones also close early, I suspect she will have her work cut out for her on Saturday as she moves up in class.
A 5-year-old Will Take Charge mare, this one competed well in three consecutive solid allowance races at Churchill Downs last fall. Although she has yet to a breakthrough in the stakes company, the mares she was running against in Kentucky are good enough to believe that she can compete on Saturday. Breaking from the rail, she’ll need to make out a good under top rider Javier Castellano. She is in with a shot.
Although it was against cheaper, it seems she woke up last time, rolling from off the pace in a Gulfstream Park allowance race. The blinkers were on for the first time in that win, so she may be ready to take the step up into stakes company. Having said that, she will need to take another step forward, because this is tougher than anything she’s faced before, other than the 2019 Indiana Oaks where she finished way back. Not without hope, but I like others better.
The second from the Saffie Joseph, Jr. barn, she was going good over the Gulfstream Park track last winter, and actually finished a solid third in this race last year. Unfortunately, she has not looked nearly as good lately. Perhaps a return to Gulfstream will help, but I cannot ride her bandwagon on Saturday.
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Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.
Email: [email protected]
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