How to Crush the Royal Delta Exotics

RoyalDeltaStakesSadly, the three-time Eclipse Award winner, Royal Delta passed away at the age of 9 on Feb. 10.

On Saturday, at Gulfstream Park, the race that bears her name, attracted a short field and two short-priced favorites… but there’s a longshot in the field that I think could spice up the exotics.

Here’s a look at the field: 

Verve’s Tale
After finishing in the money in each of her first seven starts, this daughter of Tale of Ekati promptly won two races in a row, including the Grade III Comely in ultra-impressive fashion.
Fair Odds: 4-1

Curlin’s Approval
She just won the Grade III Hurricane Bertie while recording the best late speed ration (LSR) of her career (-6). She’s a very deserving favorite.
Fair Odds: 1-1

Mo’ Green
Won an optional claiming event last time, but faces much tougher here.
Fair Odds: 6-1 

Venom Girl
Five-year-old daughter of Stevie Wonderboy just won and was claimed for $6,250; on Saturday, she tackles Grade III company. The funny thing is, in many ways, she fits. Yeah, she’s a little slow — her last-race Brisnet speed figure of 92 is eight points less than the race par — but her overall early speed rations (ESRs) rank first in the field, while her overall LSRs rank second. Call me crazy, but I give her a puncher’s chance to go wire to wire.
Fair Odds: 12-1 

Eskenformoney
Overhauled Curlin’s Approval in the Rampart to garner her first Grade III score. Her connections — trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey Javier Castellano — are top-notch, but I don’t see a lot of upside at the stingy morning line price.
Fair Odds: 7-2 

Caboclo Do Rio
Trainer Angel Quiroz’s other entry has been in poor form since arriving from Chile and would be a surprise in this spot.
Fair Odds: 30-1

My Plays:

$10 exacta 2-4 ($15).
$5 exacta 4-2 ($5).
$2 trifecta 2 with 1,4,5 with 1,4,5 ($12).
$0.50 superfecta 2 with 1,4,5 with 1,3,4,5,6 with 1,3,4,5,6 ($18).

Total — $50

Derek Simon
Derek Simon is the Senior Editor and Handicapper at US Racing.
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