Bred: Palides Investments N.V. Inc. (Ky.)
Sire: Empire Maker
Dam: Delta Princess, A.P. Indy
Royal Delta won four of seven starts in 2011, capped by a dominant win in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (G1), to earn the Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old filly. The Empire Maker filly also won the Alabama (G1) and Black-Eyed Susan (G2) Stakes during her championship campaign.
Royal Delta ended her championship season by garnering a sales price that was fitting for royalty – she sold for $8.5 million to Ben Leon’s Besilu Stables at the 2011 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. It was the third highest price ever for the Keenland November sale.
Royal Delta was sold as a part of the complete dispersal of the late Saud bin Khaled’s racing and breeding operation. Khaled, who raced and bred under the banner Palides Investments N.V., died in February 2011. The champion filly is the third generation to represent Khaled at the races and his first champion. He purchased her grandmother Lyphard’s Delta as a yearling in 1991 at the Keeneland September sale and after her stakes-winning career, she would go on to produce three graded stakes winners for him - Delta Princess, the dam of Royal Delta, Indy Five Hundred and Biondetti. Delta Princess, who was also trained by Royal Delta’s trainer, Bill Mott, sold for $2.6 million during the 2011 Keeneland November dispersal.
In 2012, Royal Delta posted victories in the Fleur de Lis Handicap (G2), Delaware Handicap (G2), and Beldame Invitational Stakes (G1) to confirm her credentials as one of the top horses in training. She cemented her position as potentially an all-time great with a second Ladies' Classic victory in 2012.
She started 2013 out strong with a 5 length win in the Grade 3 Sabin Stakes. Although she came home with a dissapointing tenth against the boys in the Dubai World Cup, Royal Delta got back on track with a win in the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap by 10 3/4 lengths.
Royal Delta followed with a 5 3/4-length romp in the Personal Ensign Handicap before she finished second in a showdown with top 3-year-old filly Princess of Sylmar in the Beldame Invitational Stakes in her final prep for the 2013 Breeders' Cup.