Royal Delta

In 2012, Royal Delta joined Bayakoa (ARG) as the only horse in Breeders' Cup history to winning back-to-back editions of the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic. In 2011, the Kentucky bred daughter of Empire Maker won four of seven starts and capped it with a dominant win in the Ladies' Classic at Churchill Downs and earned the Eclipse Award as Champion 3-year-old Filly.

But just days after her Breeders' Cup win, Royal Delta was sold for $8.5 million to Benjamin Leon's Besilu Stables at the 2011 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. It was the third highest price ever for the Keeneland November sale.

Royal Delta entered the 2012 Ladies' Classic at Santa Anita following three graded stakes wins in six starts, but was facing the toughest field in her career, which included 2012 Juvenile fillies champion My Miss Aurelia. Royal Delta came out strong from the gate, secured the lead early and was not passed en route to a 1 1/2 length victory for trainer Bill Mott and jockey Mike Smith, whose 16th Breeders' Cup victory made him the all-time leading jockey in the history of the Championships. She was voted Champion Older Female of 2012.

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