Great Intentions Cooks Gallant Bloom Rivals

(from Belmont Park report)
Barry K. Schwartz's Great Intentions skewered Win McCool in a speed duel, then kicked on for four-length victory in the $150,000 Gallant Bloom Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares over 6 1/2 furlongs at Belmont Park Sunday.

The victory halted a four-race losing streak for Great Intentions, a 4-year-old Cat Thief filly who was coupled with Nothing But Fun at odds of 7-5 in the Gallant Bloom. She had endured some poor outcomes in recent starts, but served notice she was ready for a big effort when she ran second to Win McCool in Belmont's Floral Park Handicap (gr. III) in her last start Sept. 16.

Under jockey Javier Castellano, she was pressed early on by Win McCool. They went in :22.38; :45.08 and 1:09.53 on the fast track, and both horses came into the stretch under hand rides.

Castellano shook up his mount and Great Intentions, who loves a dry track and loves Belmont Park, left Win McCool behind this time, stopping the timer at 1:16.13. She has now won three of four starts at Belmont Park, including last fall's seven-furlong First Flight Handicap (gr. II).

"I left it all up to Javier," said winning trainer Mike Hushion. "I said, `If Win McCool doesn't break well, don't be afraid to take it to her.'"

"She broke sharp, and I saw that no one really wanted the lead," said Castellano, who scored a huge win in Saturday's Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) aboard 3-year-old phenomenon Bernardini. "We were going easy with Win McCool. She just ran away from them."

Hushion was unsure of Great Intentions next start.

Annika Lass, at 19-1, got up to nose out Getcozywithkaylee, while Win McCool, Swap Fliparoo and Nothing But Fun trailed.

Great Intentions paid $4.80, $2.90 and $2.10. Annika Lass, ridden by by Cornelio Velasquez, returned $12.80 and $4. Getcozywithkaylee, Edgar Prado aboard, was $3.40 to show.

The winner received $90,000 for her sixth win 14 lifetime starts, bumping her earnings total to $354,939.

(Chart, Equibase)