De Bertie is 'De Best' in Escena Stakes

Favored De Bertie pulled away from longshots Sara's Success and Lily's Affair in the final strides to win the $75,400 Escena Stakes on Friday at Gulfstream Park. De Bertie, ridden by Jerry Bailey and trained by Steve Flint, finished a half-length in front of Sara's Success, who beat Lily's Affair by a head in the race for older fillies and mares.

For Bailey, the win marked the third of four on the card. He teamed up with trainer Bill Mott to win three other races Friday.

De Bertie ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.60 on a fast track, paying $4.60, $3.40, and $3 as the 13-10 favorite. Sara's Success paid $9.80 and $6 and completed the $76.80 exacta. Lily's Affair returned $20.40 to show.

The winner, a 5-year-old daughter of De Niro owned by Bertram, Elaine and Richard Klein, raised her earnings to $399,890. The win marks her third career stakes win at Gulfstream Park, where she won the Rampart (gr. II) and Sabin (gr. III) Handicaps there last year. She has won eight of 20 career starts after being purchased for $46,000 as a yearling. Nicholas F. Brady bred her in Kentucky.

Jockey Manuel Aguilar was thrown to the track on the first turn when his mount, Halo Reality, clipped heels with Miss Kate. Aguilar appeared to escape serious injury but was to be taken to a hospital for precautionary X-rays. (Chart, Equibase)