Pomeroys Pistol is likely headed to the Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I) after an emphatic four-length win in the $150,000 Foxwoods Gallant Bloom Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park Sept. 24 (VIDEO).
Meeting older fillies and mares for the first time, 3-year-old Pomeroys Pistol took command for jockey Javier Castellano approaching mid-stretch and won easily while completing 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16.60 on a good track.
Castellano, the leading rider at Belmont's fall meet, won five races on the day.
“It was a great day. Thank God everything is going the right way. I am very blessed and very appreciative for all the trainers to give me the opportunity," he said.
Tamarind Hall finished second by 1 1/2 lengths over Lovely Lil. Heavily favored Tar Heel Mom, the 120-pound high weight, tracked at the rail before angling out for the drive. She came up empty for Alex Solis and finished fifth.
Trainer and owner Amy Tarrant said prior to the race that Pomeroys Pistol was headed to the Breeders' Cup Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs with a good effort in the Gallant Bloom, which the Florida-bred daughter of Pomeroy certainly provided. Second in Belmont's Prioress Stakes (gr. I) July 4, the Gallant Bloom was her first try over an off track. She went off as the second choice at odds of 2-1.
"We’re very excited about it, and now she is going to go home for a nice rest and we’re going to be looking towards the Breeders’ Cup for her," Tarrant said afterward. "We’ll be staying at Monmouth and shipping out to Kentucky on (Oct. 31).”
Moontune Missy shot to the early lead before Pomeroys Pistol, breaking from the far outside in the field of six, moved up on the outside to keep the early leader company through quick quarter-mile splits of :22.15 and :45.02. Pomeroys Pistol took the lead rounding the turn and repulsed a bid on the far outside from Tamarind Hall, ridden by David Cohen. Pomeroys Pistol, under some right-handed urging, led by 1 1/2 lengths at the eighth pole and drew off in the final furlong.
“I thought she was absolutely awesome," Tarrant said of the winner. "It was the best result we could possibly expect: it wasn’t by a nose, it wasn’t by a head. She pretty much dominated, I think, in the race."
Added Castellano: "I never rode for (Amy Tarrant) before, but today we had very good success. The filly is really strong. She’s so big and talented.
"The way the race unfolded, she put herself in good position, which helped me a lot, and when I asked her she took off. Very nice filly, and very impressive first time against older fillies.”
Tamarind Hall was second best, with Lovely Lil and Ramon Dominguez making a mild late charge on the outside for third. Moontune Missy was followed by Tar Heel Mom and Buckleupbuttercup.
Tarrant's Hardacre Farm bred Pomeroys Pistol, who is out of the Point Given mare Prettyatthetable. The bay filly was coming off a runner-up finish to Turbulent Descent in the seven-furlong Test Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Aug. 6.
Pomeroys Pistol registered her third stakes win of the year, following victories in the Forward Gal Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park Jan. 30 and the Just Smashing Stakes at Monmouth Park June 11. She had been training superbly at Monmouth for the Gallant Bloom.
Carrying 115, pounds, Pomeroys Pistol paid $6.10, $3.40, $3.10. Tamarind Hall, third in the Ballerina Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga in her most recent start, returned $4.50 and $3.90. The exacta was worth $23.60. Lovely Lil, seventh in last year's Gallant Bloom, paid $6.20 to show.
Pomeroys Pistol improved her career record to 4-3-2 in 11 starts with earnings of $450,178.