Pricey auction buy Bellafina had to settle for second at 1-2 odds in her Los Al debut July 4, but she was clearly sharper for this step up in class as she donned cap and gown the hard way in dominant fashion after taking notable early tote support. The $800,000 Fasig-Tipton Florida acquisition sat third in the early going of her unveiling last month, but she’d been equipped for blinkers for the first time here and went immediately to the front. Kept a bit off the fence while doling out splits of :21.82 and :45.25, the bay hit the quarter pole with a two-length cushion. She struggled with her leads as she pulled clear, but it didn’t matter as nobody came to threaten. Fellow maiden Del Mar May (Jimmy Creed), second to ‘TDN Rising Star’ Brill (Medaglia d’Oro) here on opening day July 18, rallied to get up for second over big-figure maiden claiming winner Boujie Girl.
“I was [drawn] inside and didn’t want to get stuck behind horses,” winning rider Flavien Prat said of his tactics. “So I let her roll out of there. She’s got some speed and she was comfortable. I asked her for her kick on the turn and she gave it to me. She felt good and I think she’ll run farther, too.”
Trainer Simon Callaghan added, “She showed us in the afternoon what she has been showing us in the morning. I actually didn’t expect her to be on the lead; I just told Flavien to break and take it from there. I think she’s a filly with a big future and she’s just going to keep getting better. I don’t want to say yes, definitely [to the GI Del Mar Debutante]. It’s a possibility, but when you’ve got a filly that you think this much of, it’s better to be a little patient and work your way back from the [GI] Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies .”
Sunday, Del Mar
SORRENTO S.-GII, $201,725, Del Mar, 8-5, 2yo, f, 6f, 1:10.61, ft.
1–BELLAFINA, 118, f, 2, by Quality Road
1st Dam: Akron Moon, by Malibu Moon
2nd Dam: Akronism, by Not For Love
3rd Dam: Jerry Bomb, by Explosive Bid
1ST BLACK TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. ($220,000
RNA Ylg ’17 KEESEP; $800,000 2yo ’18 FTFMAR). O-Kaleem
Shah, Inc.; B-JSM Equine LLC (KY); T-Simon Callaghan; J-Flavien
Prat. $120,000. Lifetime Record: 2-1-1-0, $128,000. Werk
Nick Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. 2–Del Mar May, 118, f, 2, Jimmy Creed–Big Lou, by Malibu
Moon. ($55,000 Ylg ’17 KEESEP). O-Calvin Nguyen; B-T/C
Stable, LLC (KY); T-Richard Baltas. $40,000.3–Boujie Girl, 118, f, 2, Flashback–Super Girlie, by Closing
Argument. ($65,000 2yo ’18 OBSAPR). O-Rockingham Ranch &
David A Bernsen LLC; B-Pedro Gonzalez & P. J. Gonzalez (FL);
T-Peter Miller. $24,000.Margins: 4 1/4, NO, 1. Odds: 3.20, 2.70, 8.90.
Also Ran: Dragic, Reflect, Stirred, Summerland, Dichotomy, Lady Lucy, Madison’s Quarters. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton. ThoroStride video inspection.
Bellafina is the 20th graded winner–9th this year–for her on-fire sire Quality Road, but the first out of an A.P. Indy line mare. Her stakes-placed dam Akron Moon was acquired for $175,000 at KEENOV ’14 carrying year-older full-brother Diamond King, who had won Laurel’s Heft S. and finished third in the GIII Swale S. when Bellafina went through the ring at Gulfstream. A $220,000 KEESEP buyback, she turned in a green :10 flat breeze in Florida, and was one of two Quality Road fillies to bring $800,000 this juvenile sales season–another went for the same amount at OBS April, and third cost $750,000 at OBS March. Bellafina’s stakes-placed dam Akron Moon was a third-generation Shel Evans homebred. His late brother Ned bred and campaigned Quality Road. Akron Moon has a yearling filly by Verrazano. She failed to produced a foal when bred to Exaggerator last year, but returned to Quality Road this breeding season.