Curlin’s Approval, Lewis Bay Up For Rematch In Monday’s Royal Delta

Multiple graded-stakes winners Curlin’s Approval and Lewis Bay are entered for a rematch in Monday’s $200,000 Royal Delta Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.

Alter’s Racing Stable and Bridlewood Farm’s Curlin’s Approval tried to fight off race-long pressure from Alpha Delta Stable’s Lewis Bay in the Dec. 16 Rampart (G3) at Gulfstream before settling for second, 1 ½ lengths behind her relentless challenger.

“We respect the competition as always, but I think we might see her turn it around,” trainer Happy Alter said of his 5-year-old homebred mare’s rematch with Lewis Bay.

Curlin’s Approval was sent to post as the even-money favorite in the Rampart, which was contested at the one-turn, one-mile distance of the Royal Delta. The daughter of Curlin broke alertly from her No. 1 post position but was immediately engaged by Lewis Bay to her outside. After battling head to head along the backstretch and around the turn, Lewis Bay edged away in the stretch to prevail over Curlin’s Approval, who was was 3 ¼ lengths clear of third-place finisher Nonna Mela.

Curlin’s Approval, who won the 2017 Royal Delta by eight lengths when it was run around two turns at 1 1/16 miles, most recently finished second after a most eventful trip in the seven-furlong Hurricane Bertie (G3) Jan. 27.  After stalking the pace between horses along the backstretch, Curlin’s Approval briefly dropped back on the turn and circled the field five-wide into the stretch. She took a narrow lead in the stretch before dropping a three-quarters-of-a-length decision to 59-1 outsider Jordan’s Henny.

Curlin’s Approval has excelled over the Gulfstream track since debuting with a four-length victory June 5, 2016, winning five stakes, including the Princess Rooney (G2) on the 2017 Summit of Speed card July 1.

“She holds her weight good and she stays on top of her game. There’s more to her than in that last race, but we’ll have to wait and see,” said Alter, whose multiple graded-stakes winner breezed five-furlongs in a sharp 35.91 seconds Thursday. “I’m optimistic about her chances.”

Edgard Zayas has the mount for the Royal Delta.

Lewis Bay captured the Rampart off a 13-month layoff will run in the Royal Delta off an eight-week break. The 5-year-old daughter of Bernardini had established herself to be one of the best 3-year-old fillies during the 2016 campaign, during which she captured the Davona Dale (G2) at Gulfstream Park before finishing third in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs and second in the Mother Goose (G1) at Belmont Park.

Irad Ortiz Jr. has the return mount.

Unbridled Mo, who is owned by John Brunetti’s Red Oak Stable, is scheduled to make her first start since last April in the Royal Delta.

“It seemed after she made a couple of road trips, she came back and seemed tired. She lost some weight,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “After talking to the Brunettis, they wanted to keep her in training this year, so we gave her some time and hopefully we’ll have a good year with her.”

The 5-year-old daughter of Uncle Mo won back-to-back graded stakes in her last two starts of her 2017 campaign, capturing the $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic (G3) at Sam Houston and the Doubledogdare  (G3) at Keeneland before heading to the sidelines.

“She’s physically done very well. She’s gained weight,” Pletcher said. “The sent her in from their farm looking really well and she’s training really well.”

Unbridled Mo has won six of eight career starts, including four stakes success, all coming around two turns. The Royal Delta will be contested around one turn at a mile.

“When you’ve accomplished what she has, it’s hard to cherry picks spots,” Pletcher said. “The one-turn mile looked like a nice place to get going.”

Martini Glass, who has excelled over the Gulfstream turf during the Championship Meet, is scheduled to compete on the main track Saturday. The 5 year-old daughter of Kitalpha, who was claimed for $16,000 out of a debut victory at Tampa Bay Downs Feb. 20, 2016, captured the Dec. 2 Claiming Crown Tiara and finished second on the Dec. 30 Via Borghese on turf.

Martini Glass, a two-time winner on dirt, was twice Grade 1 stakes-placed on main tracks last year. The Keith Nations-trained mare finished second behind Songbird in the Delaware Handicap (G1) and came in second behind Romantic Vision in the Spinster (G1) at Keeneland. Paco Lopez has the return mount aboard the mare owned by Nations and Vince Campanella.

Beau Ravine’s Tapa Tapa Tapa, who has also shown ability on turf and dirt, enters the Royal Delta off a second-place finish in the Wayward Gal at Tampa Bay Downs. The daughter of Tapit previously captured a Dec. 23optional claiming allowance by 12 ½ lengths in her first start since finishing sixth in the Black-Eyed Susan (G2) at Pimlico in May. Trainer Timothy Hamm named Pablo Morales to ride the Kentucky-bred 4-year-old filly.

Stud Colorado’s Giulia, a Grade 1 winner in South America who is slated to make her U.S. debut Saturday; William Rainbow’s Surprise Wedding, a stakes-winner  at Tampa Bay Downs two starts back; and Verve’s Tale, a graded-stakes winner who finished fourth in the 2017 Royal Delta, round out the field.

The post Curlin’s Approval, Lewis Bay Up For Rematch In Monday’s Royal Delta appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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