July 20, 2014 - Saratoga, Race 9, Alw, USD $85,000, 1 3/16m, NW1$X

Crown Queen, F, 3, 2011 by Smart Strike

1st Dam: Delta Princess (MGSW, $740,918), by A.P. Indy
2nd Dam: Lyphard's Delta, by Lyphard
3rd Dam: Proud Delta, by Delta Judge

Owner: Besilu Stables
Breeder: Palides Investments NV Inc (KY)
Trainer: William I Mott

Besilu Stables' owner Ben Leon spent $10.1 million for two daughters of Delta Princess (A.P. Indy) on the second day of the 2011 Keeneland November sale. He gave a sales-topping $8.5 million for Royal Delta (Empire Maker, Ch. 3yo Filly, 2x Ch. Older Female, MGISW, $4,811,126) just four days removed from the first of her two victories in the GI Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic at Churchill Downs. She would go on to be named champion of her generation that season and tacked on a pair of Eclipse Awards for champion older female in 2012 and 2013.  A little earlier on that Tuesday afternoon, Leon was extended to $1.6 million for Royal Delta's Smart Strike weanling half-sister. The attractive dark bay, who bears a striking resemblance to Royal Delta, completed a 1-3 finish for her sire behind "TDN Rising Star" Zinzay in a local maiden last Aug. 25 and filled the same spot at odds-on in a Belmont maiden Oct. 3 getting Lasix for the first time before calling it a season. She returned to the races going a grassy mile downstate June 15 and rallied strongly late despite a high draw and a wide passage to score by 2 1/2 lengths. She drew the 11 hole for this first attempt against winners and was 2-1 to go back-to-back. Midfield and a bit away from the inside rounding the clubhouse turn as a fast pace developed up ahead, Crown Queen was patiently handled by Joel Rosario through the middle stages. As the field approached the far turn, Rosario gave his mount a couple of turndowns on her right shoulder, and in about 50 yards, she'd catapulted past four of her rivals and into a clear lead. If there was any suggestion she might tire from that aggressive move, she had other ideas, as she found yet another gear in the stretch and went on to score by four emphatic lengths while being taken in hand in the final 40 yards. The final time was about three-fifths off the existing track record. Delta Princess's other Rising Stars are Carnival Court (Street Sense, GISP, $161,662) and Empire Way (Empire Maker, GSP, $119,170).

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