Exotics plays for the 2023 Royal Delta Stakes at Gulfstream Feb. 18

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February 17th, 2023

Multiple graded stakes winner Kathleen O. will square off with Grade 3 champ Midnight Stroll and five other fillies and mares in Saturday’s Royal Delta S. (G3) at Gulfstream Park.

Below we offer a full field analysis and provide our best exotics plays — including exacta, trifecta, and superfecta tickets — for the 1 1/16-mile event for females four years old and up.

Royal Delta S. selections

  • #5 Classy Edition (3-2)
  • #2 Kathleen O. (7-5)
  • #3 Midnight Stroll (6-1)

Royal Delta S. wagers

  • $10 Exacta: 5 with 2 ($10)
  • $5 Trifecta: 5 with 2 with 3, 7 ($10) 
  • $2 Superfecta: 5 with 2 with 3, 7 with 1, 3, 7 ($8) 

#1 Don’t Get Khozy (20-1): Racing at sprint distances in nine of her 10 starts in 2022, the six-year-old mare stretched out to a mile and tried turf for the second time in her 2023 debut, in which she finished a distant eighth while posting a 79 Brisnet Speed figure in the Sunshine Filly and Mare Turf S. at this track. The closer has tried 8 1/2 furlongs once, coming home three lengths behind in third in the Wayward Lass at Tampa Bay Downs back in January 2022. Trainer Elizabeth Dobles is a 17% winner this meet but strikes at just a 9% rate with horses transitioning from turf to dirt and an 11% rate in graded stakes. Jockey Miguel Vasquez will inherit the ride and is 2-for-4 paired with Dobles over the last two months.

#2 Kathleen O. (7-5): Fifth to Secret Oath by four lengths in last year’s Kentucky Oaks (G1), Kathleen O. went on a six-month break before finishing a half-length in second as the favorite in the 1 1/18-mile Comely S. (G3) at Aqueduct. She’ll make her four-year-old debut here for Shug McGaughey, a 20% winner both at the graded stakes level and with beaten favorites. Regular rider Javier Castellano will stick with the Upstart filly, who posted between 92 and 99 BRIS figures last season, all while running at a mile or farther.

#3 Midnight Stroll (6-1): Coming off a more than three-month layoff, Midnight Stroll will make her first start as a four-year-old for trainer John Terranova, just a 4% winner in his last 47 graded stakes. The Not This Time filly triumphed by a head in the 1 1/16-mile Delaware Oaks (G3) three back and clocked a 96 BRIS rating in the process, then turned in a pair of third-place finishes when cutting back to seven furlongs in the Charles Town Oaks (G3) and Raven Run (G2) at Keeneland. Edgard Zayas, a 20% winner with routes, will pick up the mount.

#4 Jungle Juice (20-1): The Irish-bred seven-year-old finished five lengths back in sixth after holding a lead through the second call in a one-mile and 70-yard handicap on Gulfstream’s Tapeta in late January and will switch back to dirt while stretching out a bit in distance. In her two races prior, the pacesetter recorded 64 and 73 Speed figures while finishing fourth and sixth, respectively, by a combined 36 lengths in allowance optional claimers at Churchill Downs and Keeneland. She’s 0-for-3 at today’s distance and went 1-for-8 in 2022, with two second-place finishes and a third. Trainer Anna Meah is a 6% winner with horses making their second start off a layoff and a 7% winner with runners transitioning from all-weather to dirt. Shaun Bridgmohan is named to ride.

#5 Classy Edition (3-2): The Classic Empire filly romped to a 5 1/4-length victory in a one-mile allowance optional claimer last out and will move up in class for trainer Todd Pletcher, a 26% winner this meet. The well-bred bay will re-oppose Kathleen O. who beat her by two lengths in the Davona Dale (G2) at this track last March. Classy Edition then finished fourth by 3 3/4 lengths in the 1 1/8-mile Gazelle (G3) in April, before hitting the shelf for the rest of 2022. The Pletcher runner appeared sharp in her four-year-old debut and flashed a 100 Speed rating in her victory last month, good for the highest last race Speed rating among the field and the fastest dirt Speed figure among the group. Hot jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. will return to ride the filly and is 7-for-10 paired with Pletcher over the last 14 days.

#6 Soul of an Angel (30-1): Another four-year-old in the field, the Medaglia d’Oro granddaughter was a distant seventh at last asking when racing 1 1/2 miles on Gulfstream’s turf. She’ll return to dirt and cut back in distance for trainer Gerald James, a 7% winner this meet who has won just 3% of his last 89 races at a route distance. Jockey Jose Morelos will replace Bridgmohan, who opted to ride Jungle Juice. Soul of an Angel registered Speed figures of 78 and 80 in her last two, and the closer is 1-for-7 at today’s distance as well as 2-for-14 at Gulfstream.

#7 Tap Dance Fever (5-1): A five-year-old Tapiture mare, Tap Dance Fever won by a head in the 2023 edition of the Wayward Lass last out, finishing with a 95 Speed rating at 1 1/16 miles while collecting a second consecutive win. She’ll move up to Grade 3 level here, although she beat a Grade 1-placed rival in Pass the Champagne in her latest. Conditioner Gerald Bennett is a 23% winner with horses making their third start off a layoff, and she will keep jockey Jose Ferrer, who’s winning at a 25% clip this meet. Tap Dance Fever has never raced at Gulfstream, but she owns a 9-3-1-0 record at today’s distance.