Gino's Spirits Tops Noble Damsel
Photo: Associated Press / NYRA / Adam Coglianese
Gino's Spirits, ridden by jockey Edgar Prado, wins the Noble Damsel Handicap at Belmont Park Saturday.
Peter Bradley and Thomas VanMeter II's Gino's Spirits saved ground along the inside and rallied through the stretch to win the $111,200 Noble Damsel Handicap (gr. IIIT) by 2 3/4 lengths Saturday at Belmont Park. Sent off at over 7-1, the 4-year-old filly returned $16.40, $5.30, and $3.20. The exacta, completed by La Ville Rouge, returned $49.60.

The Elliott Walden-trained Gino's Spirits completed the one-mile race in 1:36.61 while racing over turf labeled good. "The plan was just to sit off the speed and get a good spot on the inside," said winning jockey Edgar Prado. "I knew they were flying up front (:23.47 and :46.68), and my filly relaxed perfectly. Once the hole opened, she just took off. I thought she won pretty easily."

Solar Bound finished third, followed by Fictitious, Babae, Luricon and Spook Express. Storm Dream, who ran as a coupled entry with La Ville Rouge and was the lone 3-year-old in the field, finished last after leading through the opening quarter mile.

Gino's Spirits (Perugino--Rising Spirits, by Cure the Blues) was bred in Great Britain by R.N. and Mrs. Khan and earned $66,720 for the win. Prior to the Noble Damsel, Gino's Spirits won two allowance races while conditioned by Walden after racing in England through the end of her 3-year-old season. While racing in England under the care of Clive Brittain, she won the John Musker Fillies Stakes and placed second in the Sun Chariot Stakes (Eng-II). The Noble Damsel win is her sixth in 24 starts and first in a graded or group stakes. (Chart, Equibase)

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