Rightly So will try to carry her speed seven furlongs when she faces seven other fillies and mares in the $150,000 Bed o’ Roses Handicap (gr. III) July 5 at Belmont Park.
Entering the race off a runner-up effort in her first start against open company–the 6 1/2-furlong Vagrancy Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont on May 29—the 4-year-old New York-bred will negotiate an additional sixteenth of a mile in the Bed o’ Roses.
“She’s very effective at all distances,” trainer Tony Dutrow said of Rightly So, who has won at distances ranging from six furlongs to 7 1/2 furlongs. “I don’t know what her best distance is, but I do know she likes Belmont Park.”
Prior to the Vagrancy, Rightly So was unbeaten at Belmont, having won a six-furlong optional claimer in September and the Iroquois over seven furlongs on New York Showcase Day in October before capping her sophomore season with a victory in the Love Is Eternal at Aqueduct in November. The daughter of Read the Footnotes has raced twice so far in 2010, finishing third in the Broadway over the inner track in February and second by a nose in the Indistinctly on the Aqueduct main track in March.
Dutrow expects Rightly So, who is owned by Zayat Stables, to be prominent early once again in the Bed o’ Roses.
“That’s her nature,” he said.
The 2-1 favorite on the morning line, Rightly So will break from post 6 under Cornelio Velasquez and 114 pounds.
Mark Keller’s Qualia looks for her fourth consecutive victory as she tackles stakes competition for the first time in the Bed o’ Roses.
After overcoming trouble to win a six-furlong allowance at Gulfstream Park by a half-length in January, she returned one month later to score by 1 3/4 lengths in a one-mile optional claimer at that venue. Shortened up to 6 1/2 furlongs most recently in an optional claimer at Belmont on May 28, she pressed the pace and opened up in the stretch to prevail by nearly five lengths.
“I think middle distance might be her best,” trainer Robert Ribaudo said. “We’re hoping seven furlongs will be optimum. When she won the one-mile race, it wasn’t a performance where she drew off and you said, ‘Wow.’”
Qualia, the 5-2 second choice on the morning line, was assigned 115 pounds and drew post 1. Rajiv Maragh, who has ridden the 4-year-old in all five of her previous starts, retains the mount.
Devil by Design, owned by Eurowest Bloodstock, will face black-type competition for the first time since finishing a distant second behind eventual Chilukki (gr. II) winner Malibu Prayer in an overnight stakes at Belmont last September. After drawing off to win a Churchill Downs allowance by 5 3/4 lengths in November, she was freshened over the winter, and returned to take an optional claimer under the Twin Spires May 21 in her lone start in 2010.
“We just wanted to give her a little time off,” said Leana Willaford, assistant to trainer Bill Mott. “Obviously, she ran very well in her comeback race.”
Devil by Design, the 4-1 third choice, will break from post 2 under 114 pounds with Kent Desormeaux aboard.
$150,000 Bed o' Roses Handicap (gr. III, Race 9, 5:17 p.m.), Fillies and Mares 3YO, 7 Furlongs (Dirt) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1 Qualia (KY), R Maragh, 115, R Ribaudo
2 Devil by Design (KY), K J Desormeaux, 114, W I Mott
3 Amazing (FL), M J Luzzi, 115, R E Dutrow Jr.
4 My Dinah (NY), J L Espinoza, 112, K M Feron
5 Lady Alexander (FL), C C Lopez, 115, B F Alexander
6 Rightly So (NY), C H Velasquez, 114, A W Dutrow
7 Nicksappealinglady (FL), A Garcia, 112, J Sallusto
8 McVictory (KY), R A Dominguez, 114, T A Pletcher