Stronach Stables' homebred Delta Prince found the wire first by 1 3/4 lengths in Saturday's Grade 3 King Edward Stakes on Queen's Plate Day at Woodbine, making his first start since September. The 5-year-old son of Street Cry, a half-brother to champion Royal Delta, was ridden by Javier Castellano for trainer Jimmy Jerkens. Favored at 2-1, Delta Prince completed a mile over the firm turf course in 1:32.35.
Owner/breeder Frank Stronach, on hand for Saturday's race, said the dark bay's time away from the races had been a minor concern.
“We had a few problems, but Jimmy Jerkens has always been really high on him,” said Stronach.
Longshot Shakhimat broke sharply and forged a path straight to the lead, just ahead of Caribou Club and First Premio. Delta Prince was also quick out of the gate, but Castellano took a slight hold in the first 100 yards and the horse settled back to fourth position, about four lengths off the leader.
Through fractions of :23.77 and :46.58, Shakhimat steadily led the field through the turn and straightened into the stretch with a one-length lead. Castellano was working on Delta Prince by the three-eighths pole, but the horse responded with every step and began to make his bid while three-wide.
Down the stretch, Delta Prince kept gaining on the leader until he switched to his left lead and took command at the eighth pole. At the wire, Delta Prince was 1 3/4 lengths ahead of Shakhimat, with late-running Conquest Panthera up for third. Caribou Club was able to hold fourth.
Bred in Kentucky, Delta Prince is out of the A.P. Indy mare Delta Princess, which Stronach acquired for $2.6 million at the 2011 Keeneland November sale. The dark bay horse has now won four of his eight lifetime starts, earnings over $260,000.
Stronach also agreed that the Grade 1, $1 million Ricoh Woodbine Mile, which will be run this year on September 15, could be an interesting long-term target.
“I think the Woodbine Mile would suit him,” said the owner/breeder.
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