Gino's Spirits (Perugino--Rising Spirits, by Cure the Blues) was bred in Great Britain by R.N. and Mrs. Khan and earned $66,720 for the win. Prior to the Noble Damsel, Gino's Spirits won two allowance races while conditioned by Walden after racing in England through the end of her 3-year-old season. While racing in England under the care of Clive Brittain, she won the John Musker Fillies Stakes and placed second in the Sun Chariot Stakes (Eng-II). The Noble Damsel win is her sixth in 24 starts and first in a graded or group stakes. (Chart, Equibase)
Peter Bradley and Thomas VanMeter II's Gino's Spirits saved ground along the inside and rallied through the stretch to win the $111,200 Noble Damsel Handicap (gr. IIIT) by 2 3/4 lengths Saturday at Belmont Park. Sent off at over 7-1, the 4-year-old filly returned $16.40, $5.30, and $3.20. The exacta, completed by La Ville Rouge, returned $49.60.The Elliott Walden-trained Gino's Spirits completed the one-mile race in 1:36.61 while racing over turf labeled good. "The plan was just to sit off the speed and get a good spot on the inside," said winning jockey Edgar Prado. "I knew they were flying up front (:23.47 and :46.68), and my filly relaxed perfectly. Once the hole opened, she just took off. I thought she won pretty easily."Solar Bound finished third, followed by Fictitious, Babae, Luricon and Spook Express. Storm Dream, who ran as a coupled entry with La Ville Rouge and was the lone 3-year-old in the field, finished last after leading through the opening quarter mile.