Queenie Belle Best in Princess

Gary Seidler's 3-year-old Cal-bred filly Queenie Belle pressed the early pace from between horses before pulling away to a two-length win in the $150,000 Princess Stakes (gr. II) Saturday at Hollywood Park.

With Brice Blanc in the irons, Queenie Belle (Bertrando--Lady Argyle, by Don B.) ran comfortably while in second place early and to the outside of Annie Lil. Cash Run raced four-wide on the first turn and settled in third, just outside of Queenie Belle. Cash Run dropped back on the backstretch and then regrouped for a run at the leaders on the second turn, with Annie Lil beginning to fade along the rail. Cash Run made the lead briefly before Queenie Belle drew clear through the stretch, completing the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.57 over a fast track.

Saudi Poetry closed for second but never threatened the winner. Cash Run was third, followed by Star Queen, Wired To Fly, and Annie Lil.

"I thought there would be more pace in the race," said Blanc. "But my filly broke like a rocket, and after a 1/16 of a mile it seemed like nobody wanted to go for the lead."

Queenie Belle is trained by Ben Cecil and was bred by Edward Nahem and Marshall Naify. The Princess marks her first stakes win. Previously as a sophomore, she finished sixth in the Honeymoon Handicap (gr. IIT), fourth in the $250,000 Snow Chief versus males, and second in the $107,000 Boo La Boo. As a juvenile, she finished fourth in the Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) which was won by Chilukki. Queenie Belle earned $90,000 for the win, her fourth in 11 career starts.

Favored in the wagering, Queenie Belle returned $6.40, $3.40, and $2.40. The $1 exacta paid $9. (Chart, Equibase)