Odds-on choice Tribal Belle, a leading contender to be named Canada's first champion female sprinter, scored her fifth consecutive win on Woodbine's Polytrack this season when she wore down the determined 37-1 shot Silver Z to register a half-length victory in the $156,500 Bessarabian Stakes Nov. 22 (VIDEO).
The victory in the seven-furlong Bessarabian was Tribal Belle's third successive stakes score of the meet, following the Seaway (Can-III) Sept. 5 and the Ontario Fashion Nov. 1. Canvasback Farms' British Columbia-bred daughter of Tribunal--B.B. Belle (by Vying Victor) has lost just once this season, that coming in a third-place finish on turf in June. The 4-year-old filly has victories in eight of her 11 career starts over Woodbine's synthetic track.
"She's earned it," said winning trainer Terry Jordan of a possible Sovereign Award. “If it's possible that would be very nice. She's a great horse to be around. She does everything we ask."
With regular pilot James McAleney aboard, Tribal Belle was able to stalk the pace while third on the outside. She engaged Authenicat and pacesetter Silver Z in upper stretch and the dark bay gradually inched away to a one-length lead at the eighth pole. The ultra-game Silver Z, racing at the rail, fought back, however, and Tribal Belle was pressed until the final strides to land her 10th career victory in 15 starts. The final time was 1:22.29.
McAleney said a good trip materialized because the other front-runners in the Bessarabian had drawn inside of his filly.
"It worked out really well that all the speed was inside of us. This filly just wants to win. She gives us everything she's got," said McAleney.
Silver Z, with Omar Moreno aboard, carved quarter-mile splits of :22.39 and :45.30 and finished 1 1/2 lengths in front of second choice Smart Surprise, who rallied wide from eighth after a half-mile under Patrick Husbands to head the stalking Glitter Rox for the show spot. Authenicat, after making a bold bid to reach the leader briefly in the lane, faded to finish fifth. Sweet Lorena, Hello Maggie, Grand Advice, You Will Love Me, and Unspoken Word followed.
Tribal Belle earned $84,123 for the victory, pushing her career bankroll to $502,703. She carried top weight of 121 pounds and paid $3.60, $3.10, and $2.80.
The outsider Silver Z, in her third start following a 14-month layoff for trainer Nathan Wallis, returned $20.60 and $9, rounding out a $111.10 exacta.
Smart Surprise, returning from a three-month freshening, was $3.40 to show after an awkward start for conditioner Josie Carroll.
Gemswick Park scratched.