Puerto Rican freshman sire Believe in Royalty, a son of Tapit and a highly regarded Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase, sired his first winner from his first starter May 28 when La Predilecta won her racing debut by 1 1/4 lengths at Camarero Racetrack.
The Maldonado family's Potrero Los Llanos, where Believe in Royalty stands, bred the gray filly out of the stakes-placed One Way Flight mare Chica Rican. The dam's immediate family produced Puerto Rican champion older mare Garbosa (Fusaichi Ruler), multiple champion older mare Zalamera (Billions), and Puerto Rican Horse of the Year and champion 2-year-old colt El Salsero (Two Step Salsa). La Predilecta is raced by Establo Villa Real and trainer Jerick Llopiz.
The first-out winner stalked the pace set by El Don Carlos in the five-furlong dirt race and overcame the frontrunner with a stunning kick in deep stretch. The final time was 1:01.92.
Believe in Royalty is the first foal out of 2012 Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Believe You Can. William Mack and Robert Baker went to $900,000 to buy the colt as a yearling in 2016. He was sent to trainer Larry Jones, who also trained Believe You Can. The colt won three times and placed three times out of 12 lifetime starts, getting a win in the Ellis Park Derby and finishing second in the Oklahoma Derby (G3).
The stallion stands this year for $2,500.