Bolshoi Ballet Pays Fitting Tribute to Late Galileo with Belmont Derby Win

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Bolshoi Ballet | Joe Labozzetta

'TDN Rising Star' Bolshoi Ballet (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), the beaten G1 Cazoo Epsom Derby favorite, paid fitting tribute to his late superstar sire with a 1 1/4-length success over Tokyo Gold (Fr) (Kendargent {Fr}) in Saturday's GI Belmont Derby Invitational. The Coolmore connections and trainer Aidan O'Brien also delivered with Santa Barbara (Ire) (Camelot {GB}) in the GI Belmont Oaks Invitational on the undercard.

The even-money favorite, drawn on the inside in post two, raced in seventh around the clubhouse turn and began to creep closer while racing in between horses down the backstretch through a half mile in :51.34. Under a busy ride by Ryan Moore heading into the far turn, Bolshoi Ballet was out in the clear while four/five wide approaching the top of the stretch and came with a steady, over-the-top rally in the lane to deliver a career best.

“The ground was probably a little bit slow for him, because he likes quick ground, but he did well at the finish because he had a good gallop and that helped him. Ideally, he probably wants tougher ground,” O'Brien assistant T.J. Comerford said. “In fairness to him, his class pulled it out at the end of the day and you have to be happy with it.”

Bolshoi Ballet, a 'Rising Star' at second asking at Leopardstown Oct. 16, was fifth in his 2-year-old finale over heavy ground in the G1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud Oct. 24. He turned in a pair of impressive victories in his first two starts at three, led by a six-length romp in the G3 Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial May 9. Favored at 6-5 in the Epsom Derby, a race won by his late sire in 2001, he could do no better than seventh, beaten 17 lengths, but emerged from the race with a cut to his right hind leg.

Moore added, “It felt like they were going very slow. This horse, we know he gets the 10 [furlongs] very well. It was a messy race and he won comfortably without being able to show how good he is. We're happy with him. He's the most beautiful horse you'll see. He's a real athlete. He's a class horse.

He continued, “With a furlong to run, you could see he was just waiting; having a look and his ears were going. He's still getting used to knowing what he has to do. We think there's more to come. Potentially, I suppose he could be a [GI] Breeders' Cup Turf horse.”

Pedigree Notes:

The late Galileo is now the sire of an astounding 92 worldwide Grade I/Group 1 winners, more than any other stallion in history. Like MG1SWs and champions Lush Lashes (GB) and Capri (Ire), Bolshoi Ballet is also by Galileo out of an Anabaa mare. His dam Alta Anna is a half to the G3 Prix Penelope winner and G1 Prix de Diane runner-up Abbatiale (Fr) (Kaldoun {Fr}) and her full-sister Aubergade (Fr), who took the Listed Prix Rose de Mai and was second in the Penelope. This is also the family of the GI Breeders' Cup Classic hero Arcangues (Sagace {Fr}) and the G1 Prix de Diane, G1 Prix Vermeille and G1 Prix Ganay heroine Aquarelliste (Fr) (Danehill). Alta Anna also has an as-yet unnamed yearling filly by No Nay Never.

Saturday, Belmont Park
BELMONT DERBY INVITATIONAL S.-GI, $1,000,000, Belmont, 7-10, 3yo, 1 1/4mT, 2:04.42, gd.
1–BOLSHOI BALLET (IRE), 122, c, 3, by Galileo (Ire)
                1st Dam: Alta Anna (Fr), by Anabaa
                2nd Dam: Anna Edes (Fr), by Fabulous Dancer
                3rd Dam: Abbey (Fr), by Jim French
'TDN Rising Star' 1ST GRADE I WIN. O-Mrs. John Magnier,
Michael B. Tabor, Derrick Smith & Westerberg; B-Lynch-Bages
& Rhinestone Bloodstock (IRE); T-Aidan P. O'Brien; J-Ryan L.
Moore. $535,000. Lifetime Record: MGSW-Ire, 7-4-0-1,
$638,454. *Full to Southern France (IRE), GSW-Aus, GSW &
G1SP-Ire, G1SP-Eng, $640,458. Werk Nick Rating: A. 
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Tokyo Gold (Fr), 122, c, 3, Kendargent (Fr)–Biancarosa (Ire),
by Dalakhani (Ire). O/B-Teruya Yoshida (FR); T-Satoshi
Kobayashi. $185,000.
3–Cellist, 122, c, 3, Big Blue Kitten–Cello, by English Channel.
O/B-Calumet Farm (KY); T-George R. Arnold, II. $100,000.
Margins: 1 1/4, NK, 3/4. Odds: 1.05, 16.10, 16.10.
Also Ran: Du Jour, Sainthood, Palazzi, Hard Love, Safe Conduct, Hidden Enemy (Ire). Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

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