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2012 Stephen Foster Day Results

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Royal Delta wins the 2012 Fleur de Lis Handicap
Royal Delta wins the 2012 Fleur de Lis Handicap at Churchill Downs

Royal Delta wins the 2012 Fleur de Lis Handicap at Churchill Downs

© Steve Queen
The distaff counterpart to the Stephen Foster is the $200,000 Fleur de Lis Handicap (G2) for older fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles on the main track. As expected, Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (G1) winner Royal Delta was sent off as the 3-5 favorite in the field of 6, but is winless in 2012 with a second in the Sabin (G3) and then 9th in the Dubai World Cup (G1). In to challenge her included 3-1 second choice St. John's River, second in the La Troienne (G2), and 5-1 third choice Afleeting Lady, an allowance winner last out after finishing 5th in the La Troienne.

8-1 Sterling Madame went to the lead early and set fractions of 23.71 and 47.70 while pressed by Afleeting Lady, who took over the lead on the far turn through 3/4 in 1:12.03, with Royal Delta stalking the lead pair third. Entering the lane, Royal Delta was asked for run by new jockey Mike Smith, and she ran by the pacesetters, opening up by 5 mid-stretch through 1 mile in 1:36.50, and drawing off to win by 8 lengths in 1:49.49. It was a long 4 1/4 lengths back from Afleeting Lady to St. John's River third.
Results chart from DRF

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