ELMONT, NY – Blue Devil Racing Stable’s homebred filly Come Dancing strode gate-to-wire with relative ease for her first big score in Sunday’s $100,000 Royal Delta Stakes at Belmont Park.
Breaking sharply from post 3 at 5/2 odds under John Velazquez, Come Dancing was able to post relatively unpressured opening fractions of :24.52, :48.72, and 1:13.51. Put to a drive as she passed the 1/4-pole, Come Dancing drew off convincingly in the stretch while never asked for her best. The Carlos Martin trainee crossed the wire with a strong 6 1/4-length advantage in a final time of 1:44.78 for the 1 1/16-mile event over a sloppy (sealed) main track.
“She liked (the distance),” Velazquez said. “She did it pretty easy. There wasn’t much speed in the race, so that helped relax her the first part of the race. She was galloping along in a very comfortable stride. After that, it was pretty easy.”
Never a threat to the winner, the 3/2 favorite Berned had to fight hard just to secure second by a 1/2-length over No Need to Appeal. Farther back, Dreamcall and Sneaky Betty completed the order of finish. Divine Miss Grey and Frostie Anne both scratched.
Come Dancing’s win was her first in a stakes race after two prior failed attempts (including the $100,000 Shine Again at Saratoga). The 4-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon has now earned $188,200 and with a record of 6-4-0-0.
“We got back to Belmont and she had trained sensational after the race at Saratoga,” Martin said. “I had taken a gamble running her back in a week and it didn’t work out for us, but she was really training well out of that race. I trained her a little bit differently, and (jockey) Irad (Ortiz, Jr.) has done a great job with her. Unfortunately, he couldn’t ride her today, but Johnny did a great job. I was actually looking at a three-other-than allowance that didn’t fill, and then this race came up and I said, ‘I really feel good about taking a chance with the way she’s training at Belmont.’ Making her a stakes winner is big for us. Blue Devil has the whole family.”
Come Dancing returned $7.90 to win, $3.80 to place, and $2.90 to show. Berned brought back $3 to place and $2.10 to show, while No Need to Appeal paid $2.60 to show.