Michael B. Tabor's Ciao Bella ran like a favorite should at Gulfstream Park March 30, holding the advantage from gate to wire and drawing off to a 4 1/2-length victory in the $150,000 Rampart Stakes (gr. III).
Michael Tabor's grade II winner Bella Bellucci has been retired from racing
Making hay while Azeri works toward her return, Starrer wins her third graded stakes in a row by taking the Santa Margarita Handicap at Santa Anita.
George Krikorian's favored Starrer went over the $1 million mark in career earnings Sunday, pulling away from front-running Sightseek in deep stretch to win the $300,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita.
Got Koko rallied from just off the pace to win Saturday's $200,000 La Canada Stakes (gr. II) by three-quarters of a length over favored Sightseek. Under Alex Solis, Got Koko completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.41 on a fast track to become the third horse to sweep the three-race La Canada series.
Trainer Darrell Vienna scratched Revenante from Thursday's second race, an optional claiming event at one mile on the turf, in favor of Saturday's $200,000 La Canada Stakes (gr. II) at 1 1/8 miles on the main track.
Got Koko, upset winner of the La Brea (gr. I) in her last start, proved she's no fluke in Sunday's $150,000 El Encino Stakes (gr. II), delivering a 1 1/2-length triumph over favored Bella Bellucci at Santa Anita.
Bare Necessities is scheduled to make her first start since Nov. 9 in Sunday's $150,000 El Encino Stakes (gr. II) for 4-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 mile on the Santa Anita dirt. According to her rider, that's been the plan all along.
Got Koko mounted a furious late rally and cruised to victory in the $200,000 La Brea Stakes (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies Saturday at Santa Anita Park.
Godolphin Racing's Imperial Gesture set her own pace, then had more than enough to hold off the stalking Take Charge Lady to score a 2 1/2-length victory in the $250,000 Gazelle Handicap (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park Saturday.
Take Charge Lady will make her first start since May 25, and she will have to do it against tough rivals like Bella Bellucci and Imperial Gesture, part of a strong field for the $250,000 Gazelle Handicap (gr. I) at 1 1/8 mile for 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park.
Lido Palace heads a field of only six when he tries to repeat in the grade I Woodward Stakes at Belmont on Saturday. The card also features to other grade I races, the Man o' War and Gazelle.
All around her in the winner's circle at Saratoga Race Course, the chanting continued. "Fly Farda Amiga. Fly Farda Amiga. Fly Farda Amiga." At that point, late in the afternoon on Aug. 17, Farda Amiga had already flown past You and Allamerican Bertie in the stretch to win the 122nd Alabama Stakes (gr. I).
Bella Bellucci, who has won five of seven career starts, and You, winner of the grade I Test Stakes three weeks ago, top a field of seven 3-year-old fillies who will contest Saturday's grade I, $750,000 Alabama Stakes at Saratoga. Also on the card, handicap males will contest the grade II, $300,000 Saratoag Breeders' Cup.
With Take Charge Lady and Bella Bellucci both on the sidelines, a field of just five 3-year-old fillies will run Saturday at Belmont in the grade I Mother Goose Stakes.
You led every step of the way to easily win the Acorn Stakes (gr. I) Friday at Belmont Park. Under Jerry Bailey, You was under pressure until they turned for home in the one-turn mile race, but she then spurted away and coasted home as much the best.
Friday's 1-mile Acorn (gr. I), the first leg of the Triple Tiara at Belmont Park, boasts a showdown between star 3-year-old fillies Bella Bellucci and You.
A small but select group of six fillies are entered for Friday's Acorn at Belmont Park. All but one have won a graded stakes event.
Edmund Gann's You worked five furlongs at Belmont Park Wednesday ahead of an expected start in the Acorn Stakes (gr. I) at that track on June 7.
Two of the top 3-year-old fillies in the country, Dogwood Stakes (gr. III) winner Take Charge Lady and Comely (gr. III) winner Bella Bellucci, will make their next starts in grade I stakes races at Belmont Park. Bella Bellucci is being pointed toward the Acorn on June 9, while Take Charge Lady will wait for the June 29 Mother Goose.
Michael Tabor's Bella Bellucci, who was scratched Wednesday from the Kentucky Oaks, will point for the filly Triple Tiara in New York, trainer Neil Drysdale said Thursday. The first race in the series in the June 7 Acorn Stakes.
Friday's Kentucky Oaks lost yet another top contender Wednesday when Demi O'Byrne, advisor to owner Michael Tabor, said Bella Bellucci would not run because "she is not 100%."
Here's some thoughts about this year's Kentucky Oaks from three trainers who have won it:
Ashland Stakes winner Take Charge Lady heads a field of 10 3-year-old fillies that were entered Tuesday morning for Friday's 128th running of the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs.
Godolphin's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) winner Tempera missed training Saturday due to a fever, according to assistant trainer Tom Albertrani. Also Saturday, Ile De France was added to the likely field and Bella Bellucci worked seven furlongs.
Michael Tabor's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) hopeful Bella Bellucci breezed four furlongs at Churchill Downs Saturday, getting the distance in :47 3/5 on a fast track.
Select Stable's Take Charge Lady put in a five-furlong breeze at Churchill Downs Friday as she prepares for her engagement in the May 3 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
Eight three-year-old fillies are set to contest Sunday's $100,000 added Comely (gr. III) over a mile at Aqueduct. Michael Tabor's Bella Bellucci is the standout in the field, and a solid effort will send her straight to the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) at Churchill Downs May 3.
Bella Bellucci passed all four of her Santa Paula Stakes rivals between the stretch call and the wire to earn a half-length victory in the $102,075 race for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita.
Sunday Break worked three furlongs at Hollywood Park Thursday morning, less than a week after a winning performance in a Santa Anita allowance race.
There is no question that You has proven the most so far among the nine entries in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). But the beauty of handicapping 2-year-old races is that some young horses improve by leaps and bounds in a matter of a few weeks, while others who matured may already have reached their best form.
Pedigree Analysis for Bella Bellucci
Two new shooters have entered the picture for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), and neither came out of the Frizette Stakes (gr. I), the division's big race during the Oct. 6-7 weekend.
Bella Bellucci showed she had the class to make the jump from maiden special weight winner to graded stakes winner with a strong close in Monday's Astarita Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park.
Barry Irwin, the head of Team Valor, co-owner with Heiligbrodt Racing of Cashier's Dream, has already indicated the Oct. 6 Frizette Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park is his filly's Breeders' Cup. In other words, the Steve Asmussen-trained daughter of Service Stripe will be going all-out to win the 1 1/16-mile event as if the 2-year-old filly championship is on the line.
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