Honor D Lady Wins Gr. III Royal Delta
Sunday, February 18, 2024
    HALLANDALE BEACH - Final Furlong Farm and Madaket Stable’s Honor D Lady made her 4-year-old debut a memorable one Saturday by running away from nine others down the stretch to win the $150,000, Gr. III Royal Delta at Gulfstream Park.

    Trained by Saffie Joseph Jr. and ridden by Jose Ortiz, Honor D Lady covered the 1 1/16 mile in 1:44.74. Soul of an Angel was second and Maryquitecontrary rallied for the show. Honor D Lady returned $11.40.

    Honor D Lady ended her 3-year-old season with a third-place finish in the Gr. III Comely at Aqueduct in November after winning the Gr. III Remington Park Oaks in September. Earlier in the year she won the Honey Ryder at Gulfstream.

    Honor D Lady was settled off a :23.33 and :46.85 pace set by longshot Yuki before making her move around the final turn outside another Joseph runner in Libban. She entered the stretch with a clear advantage and the victory was never in doubt. It was the third win of the afternoon for Ortiz.

    “I watched the replay of when she won at Remington and Saffie told me how he wanted her to be ridden, so I followed instructions,” Ortiz said. “We wanted to go forward and if I could work my way to the clear, do that. I did that, and it worked out great.” “She ran big today off the layoff and we’re very happy to have a filly like this in our barn,” Joseph said. 

    Honor D Lady has now won on turf, dirt and Tapeta. Joseph said the Gr. I Apple Blossom at Oaklawn on April 13 might be the filly’s next start.

     Maryquitecontrary, a daughter of First Dude, had won seven of 13 starts, including seven for 10 at Gulfstream, and was coming into the Royal Delta off a third-place finish in the Gr. II Inside Information. But she had never raced around two turns. The filly rallied for the show.

    Tizzy in the Sky finished fourth. She was making her 5-year-old debut for trainer Todd Pletcher and was making her first start since finishing second Dec. 2 in the Gr. III Go For Wand at Aqueduct over a muddy track. She had won the Honey Ryder Stakes at Gulfstream in May.

    The Royal Delta is named in honor of Besilu Stable’s Hall of Fame mare who earned $4.8 million while racing between 2010 and 2013. Trained by Bill Mott, Royal Delta was a two-time winner of the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic as well as the Gr. I Beldame Invitational, Gr. I Alabama Stakes and Gr. II Black-Eyed Susan. The daughter of Empire Maker won the Gr. III Sabin Stakes at Gulfstream twice.

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