2023 Royal Delta Stakes & Razorback Handicap Recap

There were two strong performances in the older-horse division on Saturday, with Last Samurai demonstrating his affinity for Oaklawn Park when springing a slight surprise in the G3 Razorback, and Classy Edition benefiting from a shrewd tactical ride from Irad Ortiz to gain her first success at Graded level in the G3 2023 Royal Delta at Gulfstream Park.

Razorback Handicap

G3, $600,000, 1m 1/16 dirt, 4yo+, Oaklawn Park

Last shall be first: Never count him out, especially at Oaklawn Park. A lot of people did, but Last Samurai made them think again when coming fast and late to win the Razorback on Saturday, seeing off the fancied pair West Will Power and Law Professor in style.

The 8-1 shot, ridden by Cristian Torres for the doyen of trainers Wayne Lukas, was eased into the race as the favourite West Will Power and Law Professor cut out the fractions, and came running through the stretch to put away West Will Power in the last eighth and score by a length and a half. There were seven lengths back to the fading Law Professor.

Razorback Handicap Race Video

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Last Samurai wins the 2023 Oaklawn Razorback #Horseracing #Horsesoftiktok #Horseracingtips #Sports #FYP #Horses #Horse

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“When we got back to Oaklawn from Florida [for the Pegasus World Cup] he was training so darn well, I thought we had a chance to pull this off,” said the 87-year-old Hall of Famer Lukas.

Last Samurai hadn’t won since taking the G2 Oaklawn Handicap here last April, and there’s something about the Arkansas air that puts a spring in his step. Three of his five lifetime wins have come here, and he will stick around for the $500,000 G3 Essex over the same distance on March 18.

Razorback Handicap Payouts

HorseWinPlaceShow
1. Last Samurai18.606.403.60
2. West Will Power3.802.80
3. Law Professor2.80

Winning time: 1m 42.19s

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Royal Delta Stakes

G3, $150,000, 1m 1/16 dirt, 4yo+ females, Gulfstream Park

Edition makes the deadline: It was a two-horse race on paper and it wound up a two-horse race on dirt too, as Classy Edition fended off Kathleen O. to take the 2023 Royal Delta at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, her first success at Graded level.

Royal Delta Stakes Race Video

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Classy Edition wins the Gulfstream Royal Delta #Horseracing #Horsesoftiktok #Horseracingtips #Sports #FYP #Horses #Horse

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The even-money second-choice was in the right place throughout, sitting just off a dawdling pace while the odds-on Kathleen O. broke slowly and was always playing catch-up. Classy Edition got first run at the top of the stretch and was never threatened, hitting the wire a length and three-quarters clear as Kathleen O. closed in without ever looking likely to get there. The boxcar longshot Don’t Get Khozy was four lengths back in third.

“I think she wants to go longer, this is the right distance for her,” said jockey Irad Ortiz, signing for his fourth win of the afternoon, of the Todd Pletcher-trained four-year-old. “Her mind is great, she’s been breaking much better than last year.”

This success took Classy Edition’s resume to five-for-seven, and avenged her defeat by Kathleen O. in last year’s G2 Davona Dale here.

2023 Royal Delta Stakes Payouts

HorseWinPlaceShow
1. Classy Edition4.202.102.10
2. Kathleen O.2.102.10
3. Don’t Get Khozy7.60

Winning time: 1m 45.15s

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