Classic Empire Filly Makes the Grade in Royal Delta

Saturday’s GIII Royal Delta S. looked like a rematch of last March’s local GII Davona Dale S., with New York-bred Classy Edition turning the tables on favored foe Kathleen O. after enjoying a decided tactical advantage early.

Named a ‘TDN Rising Star’ off her dominant Saratoga debut at two, Classy Edition dominated in a pair of restricted stakes downstate that fall before suffering her first defeat at the hooves of Kathleen O. She was subsequently fourth in the GIII Gazelle S. at the Big A in April, but resurfaced to drub first-level open optional claiming foes going a mile here Jan. 11, good for a 96 Beyer Speed Figure top.

Late-running Kathleen O. fell out of the gate, but Classy Edition broke cleanly and was wrapped up by Irad Ortiz, Jr. as they cruised through opening splits of :25.28 and :50.15. Ortiz gave his mount her cue to pick it up rounding the bend, and she took a narrow advantage heading for home as longshot Tap Dance Fever (Tapiture) tried to stay with her and the chalk revved up out wide. Classy Edition swatted away Tap Dance Fever at the quarter pole, and Kathleen O. narrowed the gap in the lane, but Class Edition’s edge proved insurmountable.

“She was going good on the backside. We were going slow but she was close to the lead,” Ortiz said. “I let her do her thing and she did the rest.”

Winning conditioner Todd Pletcher said, “I was pretty pleased. We got to a good spot and it looked like Irad had a lot of horse, just waiting to pull the trigger… We really thought highly of her. She showed quality. She ran a good second in the race here and then needed some time off. She came back really well. I thought her comeback race was excellent. We kind of had a little tactical edge today and she was able to get it done.”

Saturday, Gulfstream Park
ROYAL DELTA S.-GIII, $150,000, Gulfstream, 2-18, 4yo/up, f/m,
1 1/16m, 1:45.15, ft.
1–CLASSY EDITION, 120, f, 4, by Classic Empire
   1st Dam: Newbie, by Bernardini
   2nd Dam: Changeisgonnacome, by Cherokee Run
   3rd Dam: Top Tip, by Lost Code
($550,000 2yo ’21 EASMAY). O-Lawana L. & Robert E. Low;
B-Chester Broman & Mary R. Broman (NY); T-Todd A. Pletcher;
J-Irad Ortiz, Jr. $91,140. Lifetime Record: 7-5-1-0, $372,790.
*1/2 to Newly Minted (Central Banker), MSW, $516,738;
1/2 to New Girl in Town (Boys At Tosconova), MSP, $172,505.
Werk Nick Rating: A+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross
pedigree or free catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Kathleen O., 120, f, 4, Upstart–Quaver, by Blame.
($8,000 Wlg ’19 KEENOV; $50,000 Ylg ’20 OBSOCT; $275,000
2yo ’21 OBSAPR). O-Winngate Stables, LLC; B-Gainesway
Thoroughbreds LTD & Bridlewood Farm, LLC (KY); T-Claude R.
McGaughey III. $29,400.
3–Don’t Get Khozy, 120, m, 6, Khozan–Get Noticed, by Graeme
Hall. 1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. ($10,000 Ylg ’18 OBSOCT).
O-Imaginary Stables; B-Special Effort Farm, Laura Colon &
Michael Colon (FL); T-Elizabeth L. Dobles. $14,700.
Margins: 1 3/4, 4, HF. Odds: 1.10, 0.90, 76.30.
Also Ran: Tap Dance Fever, Soul of an Angel, Midnight Stroll,
Jungle Juice (Ire). Click for the chart or the PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

Pedigree Notes:

Classy Edition was her sire’s priciest first-crop juvenile at $550,000 after a good-looking :10 1/5 breeze at Timonium, and became his third graded stakes winner–the previous two also sold as 2-year-olds that term (Morello, $250K at the same sale; and Interstatedaydream, $175K at OBSAPR), and Angel of Empire made it four in Saturday evening’s GII Risen Star S. She is one of 39 worldwide graded winners out of mares by top broodmare sire Bernardini and is bred Pioneerof the Nile over Bernardini like GISW Matareya and from the same Unbridled line as highest-level winners out of Bernardini mares Colonel Liam (Liam’s Map) and Wicked Whisper (Liam’s Map). Angel of Empire is out of a mare by Bernardini’s son To Honor and Serve.

The winner’s dam Newbie was a first-level allowance winner in the Empire state, and also produced $500,000-plus MSW Newly Minted (Central Banker). The daughter of SW/GSP Changeisgonnacome was a $320,000 in utero purchase by Chester and Mary Broman at the 2008 Keeneland November sale. Newbie has an unraced 3-year-old colt named Pharoah Lake (American Pharoah) and a yearling colt by Vekoma. She was barren to Curlin for 2023.

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