After a groundbreaking triumph over her peers in their sophomore year in the Longines Test Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Racetrack, Bella Sofia will meet older mares and stakes-level mares for the first time in the $ 250,000 Gallant Bloom Handicap (G2) on September 26th. The sprint is about 6 1/2 stadiums on that Belmont Park Main line.
Bella Sofia, a daughter of Rudy Rodriguez trained Fantastic patriot , has won 3-of-4 lifetime starts with a total of 22 lengths. She demonstrated stalking tactics on the back track in the test, established command in the upper track, and moved on to a crucial 4 1/4 length conquest against four tiered stakes winners.
Rodriguez said he was considering two rounds outside of town for Bella Sofia but decided the Gallant Bloom was the best spot given the distance and home advantage.
Bella Sofia is owned by Michael Imperio, Medallion Racing, Vincent Scuderi, Sofia Soares and Parkland Thoroughbreds.
“The test was a huge, huge win for us because we don’t have these kinds of horses in the stable,” said Rodriguez. “To win a grade 1 in Saratoga, especially in a prestigious race like the Test, was all incredible. We are still dreaming.”
Luis Saez, the lead driver in Saratoga this summer, will be returning to the irons from Post 1. Bella Sofia will carry 119 pounds.
It is a triumph over other Pennsylvania breeds Don’t call me Maria , a winner of three of her last four, including a recent Dr. Teresa Garofalo Memorial on August 23 over a sloppy route Parx races.
Owned by Stuart Grants The Elkstone Group and trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, 4 year old El Padrino Chestnut made her lonely start at Belmont a victorious one, defeating an optional second level claiming event on the Gallant Bloom distance by 4 1/2 lengths over the next stakes winner Real pain .
In her latest stakes coup, Don’t Call Me Mary was ultra-consistently enough Chub wagon , then a five-time stakes winner, her only loss in 10 starts. Chub Wagon took her sixth stakes score by winning the Plum Pretty Stakes at Parx on September 25th.
“She beat a good filly that was unbeaten and came back and won an open company stakes after that, so I thought it was a good race,” said Pletcher, who saddled Harmony Lodge to victory at the Gallant Bloom 2003.
Hall of Famer John Velazquez, a five-time Gallant Bloom winner, will ride Don’t Call Me Mary (118 pounds) starting at Post 5.
Godolphins Seeallee (Tip it on ). She finished second in three consecutive appearances, most recently in the Ketel One Ballerina Handicap (G1).
Frank Fletcher Racing Operations won Gallant Bloom last year Frank’s Rockette and will try to double with Ten Strike Racing Lady missile , a 4 year old History of the cat Filly. Trained by Brad Cox, the four-time winner of eight starts won the Misty Bennett Pink Ribbon on August 27th Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in wire-to-wire fashion in their most recent launch.
Saul Kupferberg’s veteran mare Way of Honor , Runner-up in last year’s Gallant Bloom, rounds out the field as she tries to make amends for coach Charlton Baker after finishing two fifths at the stakes level.
The Gallant Bloom is the ninth race on the 10-race map on Sunday, in which Bertram F. Bongard is also in the fourth race for $ 150,000 for New York youth on seven stadiums above the main route.
Entries: Gallant bloom H. (G2)
Belmont Park, Sunday, September 26, 2021, race 9
- Grade II
- 6 1 / 2f
- $ 250,000
- Mares and mares from 3 years
- 5:16 p.m. (local)