Classy Edition makes amends in Royal Delta

Saturday, February 18th, 2023

Classy Edition collects first graded stakes victory in Saturday’s Royal Delta. Lauren King/Gulfstream Park Photo.

Robert and Lawana Low’s Classy Edition turned the tables on Kathleen O. in Saturday’s Grade 3 Royal Delta Stakes at Gulfstream Park, almost a year removed from losing to that foe in another important South Florida graded stakes.

Benefitting from a smoother trip than her rival this time, Classy Edition improved to 2-for-2 on the season with a 1 3/4-length victory over Kathleen O. in the Royal Delta. Irad Ortiz Jr. rode the 4-year-old daughter of Classic Empire to her first graded stakes win in his fourth win on the card as trainer Todd Pletcher collected his fourth win in the stakes formerly named the Sabin before 2015.

“I was pretty pleased,” Pletcher said. “We got to a good spot and it looked like Irad had a lot of horse, just waiting to pull the trigger.”

The $150,000 Royal Delta looked like a rematch on paper and gamblers agreed, sending last year’s Grade 2 Davona Dale and Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks winner Kathleen O. to the post as the 4-5 favorite. Classy Edition, second to Kathleen O. in the Davona Dale after closing her juvenile campaign with back-to-back state-bred stakes wins, went off even-money with the 6-1 third choice Midnight Stroll the only other filly or mare at single-digit odds in the field of seven.

Longshot Jungle Juice took the early lead and led Classy Edition by a length into the first turn and to the pedestrian quarter-mile split in :25.28. Kathleen O. got away a half-beat slow and wound up sixth in the early stages, 5 lengths behind Jungle Juice and Classy Edition through the first half in :50.15.

Ortiz sent Classy Edition at the leader midway around the far turn and took control, clicking past 6 furlongs in 1:13.93 and opening up with Tap Dance Fever looking like a threat from her outside and Kathleen O. still more than 2 lengths back. Classy Edition extended her lead in the lane and held a 2-length edge at the eighth pole.

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

Kathleen O. continued her wide run through the lane but couldn’t gain enough ground on the winner to finish second, 4 lengths ahead of Don’t Get Khozy. Tap Dance Fever, Soul of an Angel, Midnight Stroll and Jungle Juice completed the field.

Classy Edition, who prepped for the Royal Delta with a comeback win in allowance-optional last month at Gulfstream, won in 1:45.15.

Classy Edition, the most expensive New York-bred 2-year-old filly sold at auction in 2020, improved to 5-for-7 in the Royal Delta and boosted her earnings to $372,790. Bloodstock agent Jacob West bought the filly for the Lows for $550,000 out of the 2020 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May sale of 2-year-olds in training, and she ended that year as the second most expensive New York-bred sold at a juvenile auction.

Bred by Chester and Mary Broman and foaled at their Chestertown Farm in Chestertown, Classy Edition was sold at the Timonium sale by Becky Thomas’ Sequel Bloodstock. Out of the Broman-bred two-time winning Bernardini mare Newbie, Classy Edition is a half-sister to multiple New York-bred stakes winner Newly Minted and the stakes-placed New Girl In Town. Newbie is also the dam of the unraced New York-bred American Pharoah colt Pharoah Lake and a yearling New York-bred colt by Vekoma bred by the Bromans.

Newbie is also the dam of the unraced Speightstown mare Colonizer, who sold for $150,000 at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale. The Bromans subsequently purchased Colonizer, in foal to Omaha Beach, back for that same price at last year’s Keeneland November breeding stock sale.

The Bromans bought Newbie’s dam Changeisgonnacome, carrying Newbie, for $320,000 at the 2008 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. Bred in Virginia by Audley Farm, that mare won Saratoga’s P.G. Johnston Stakes in 2006 and placed in a Grade 2 the following year. All five foals of her foals to race were winners.

Classy Edition started her career with three straight victories in the late summer and early autumn of 2021 – a 5 1/2-furlong maiden at Saratoga, the Joseph A. Gimma Stakes at Belmont Park and the Key Cents Stakes at Aqueduct. She started her 3-year-old campaign with that runner-up in the Davona Dale before a fourth back at Aqueduct in the Grade 3 Gazelle. On the sidelines for nine months, Classy Edition returned to win going 1 mile Jan. 11 at Gulfstream.

“We really thought highly of her,” Pletcher said. “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.”

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