Haras Santa Maria de Araras' Quite a Bride was put on the lead by jockey Cornelio Velasquez and kept going for a two-length victory in the 14th renewal of the Pebbles Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at a mile over Belmont Park's Widener Turf Course on Monday's Columbus Day card.
Quite a Bride, who returned $5.90, had been competitive in graded stakes company in her recent races, but had lost her last two starts after stringing together four straight wins for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. The Stormy Atlantic filly hardly took any of Belmont Park's 5,698 fans by surprise on Monday. They sent her to post as their favorite.
Carrying top weight of 123 pounds, Quite a Bride broke sharp from post 2 and set a pace of :23.45; :46.50, 1:10.56 and was an easy winner at 1:33.56 over the firm going.
It was her fifth victory in nine career starts.
"The only thing we worried about was if (Sugar Swirl) was going to run with us," said Leana Willaford, Mott's assistant. "I was pretty confident on the backstretch when they took back. She is very tough when she is able to control the pace."
Ready to Please was second and it was five lengths back to Calla Lily in third. Trailing were Moya, Diamond Spirit, Better Now and Sugar Swirl, who raced with one bar shoe off.
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