At the Moment Stables’ Lady Belsara never got a break after taking the lead shortly following the start, but proved a game winner of the $175,000 Chicago Handicap (gr. III) (VIDEO) by a half-length on the all weather track at Arlington Park Saturday.
E. T. Baird rode the daughter of Boundary, who covered the seven furlongs over the Polytrack in 1:23.10 after posting fractions of :22.79, :45.37 and 1:09.92 while under pressure throughout. She went off at odds of 8-1.
“She ran a really big race,” Baird said. “Rene’s (jockey Rene Douglas) horse (favored Trendy Lady) moved up on me on the outside. My horse really dug in and tried hard. The owners gave me instructions to try to get her to change leads, I tried a couple of times but she was a little stubborn about it, so I figured I’d better go ahead and start riding her. She finally switched leads about 10 yards from the wire.”
The victory was the first in stakes competition for the S. Matthew Kintz-trained filly whose only other added-money start resulted in a third-place run in the $47,550 Fit For a Queen Stakes at Arlington May 19. She earned $102,000 for the Chicago Handicap score to boost her bankroll to $175,860 while improving her record to four wins from seven starts, all run on synthetic surfaces.
Bronze Bell Farm & Partners bred Lady Belsara, who is out of Wolfendale Island (Unbridled), in Kentucky.
Trendy Lady, the 2-1 betting choice who was carrying a two-race win streak into the Chicago Handicap, made a three-wide rally to take a brief lead between calls but could not hold off a second run from the winner while settling for the runner-up spot.
“I thought I was home free, but she didn’t want to put the other horse away,” said Douglas. “(Trendy Lady) was looking to play around with the other horse a little bit. Unfortunately, she did it on the wrong day.”
It was another length back to 22-1 outsider Dimple Pinch, who finished third in the field of 10 fillies and mares.
My Chickadee, Coolwind, Modjadji, Bluesbdancing, Trick’s Pic, Victorina, and Cuaba completed the order of finish. Travel Team scratched.
Sent off as the fifth choice, Lady Belsara paid $18.40, $7.60 and $6.60.
Trendy Lady returned $3.80 and $3.60.
Dimple Pinch paid $8.20.