Royal Delta, To Honor and Serve Work for Mott
ELMONT, N.Y. (September 16, 2012) - It’s good to be Bill Mott these days.
On Saturday, Mott put two of his Grade 1-winning horses - Flat Out and Ron the Greek - through workouts at Saratoga in preparation for a start in the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park on Sept. 29.
On Sunday, at Belmont, Mott was on hand to watch two more of his Grade 1 winners - the 2011 champion 3-year-old filly Royal Delta and Woodward winner To Honor and Serve - put in works four hours and two tracks apart.
Shortly after 6 a.m. on the main track, Royal Delta zipped five furlongs in 59.24 seconds, with a final quarter of 23.44 seconds as she tunes up for the Grade 1, $400,000 Beldame on Sept. 29.
At 10:15, on the training track, Mott watched To Honor and Serve go a half-mile in 47.50 seconds in his first work since winning the Woodward on Sept. 1. Mott has not yet decided whether To Honor and Serve will run in the Grade 2, $400,000 Kelso here on Sept. 29 or train up to the Breeders’ Cup, presumably the $5 million Classic, but possibly the $1 million Dirt Mile, at Santa Anita on Nov. 3.
Royal Delta has won the Fleur de Lis and Delaware handicaps this season but is coming off a second-place finish to Love and Pride in the Personal Ensign at Saratoga on Aug. 26. Prior to Sunday’s move at Belmont, Royal Delta worked a bullet half-mile in 48.00 seconds at Saratoga on Sept. 7.
“She’s doing as good as ever, it seems like,” Mott said. “She was doing well going into the last one, got beat. I’m not here to make excuses. We finished second. No one wants to hear a whiner.”
Mott said he’s on the “balancing beam right now” regarding what to do next with To Honor and Serve, who has only raced four times this year.
“If it was the last race of the year I’d be 100 percent sure I’m running,” Mott said. “I just want to make sure I get him to the Breeders’ Cup the best way I can. His work was good enough today. He’s been doing well. I could go either way. If I trained into the Breeders’ Cup it wouldn’t be a problem. We trained him into the Woodward.’”
To Honor and Serve had eight weeks between the Suburban and the Woodward. It would be nine weeks between the Woodward and the Breeders’ Cup.
Mott said that he also has Lunar Victory, the New York-bred who has won five straight races, nominated to the Kelso. On Saturday, at Saratoga, Lunar Victory worked five furlongs in 1:00.02 at Saratoga.
“He’s working as good as anybody,” said Mott, who added he wouldn’t run both To Honor and Serve and Lunar Victory in the Kelso.