ARCADIA, Calif. -- Royal Delta won the $2 million Ladies' Classic by 1 1/2 lengths on Friday at Santa Anita, making the defending champion the only favourite to win on an upset-filled opening day of the Breeders' Cup.
Jockey Mike Smith earned his 16th victory in the event's 29-year history, breaking a tie for most wins with fellow Hall of Famer Jerry Bailey.
Royal Delta gave Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott his second consecutive win and fifth overall in the Ladies' Classic, putting him in position to sweep the weekend's biggest races, a feat he accomplished last year. He has three runners in the $5 million Classic on Saturday, a race he won last year with Drosselmeyer.
Royal Delta was the 8-5 favourite in the field of eight fillies and mares. She ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.80 and paid $5.40, $3.60 and $2.60.