ARCADIA, CA – Kaleem Shah’s Bellafina continued her hot streak on Saturday, romping home gallantly to win the Grade 1, $300,000 Chandelier Stakes at Santa Anita Park.
The Chandelier is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, with Bellafina receiving an automatic berth in the Tito’s Handmade Vodka Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs on Friday, November 2.
Breaking sharply from the far outside under Flavien Prat as the 4/5 favorite, Bellafina sat just off of early leader Vibrance through opeing fractions of :22.88 and :46.51. Ranging up to take command in the far turn, Bellafina cruised to the lead with relative ease and drew off as she straightened for home. Kept to task at the top of the stretch, the Simon Callaghan trainee crossed the finish line under wraps with a 6 1/2-length advantage in a final time of 1:44.59 for the 8 1/2-furlong main track event.
“I think the big key today was to see her relax, and going two turns, that was very important,” Callaghan said. “We took the blinkers off – it was a decision I thought would benefit her. She was so relaxed today. The race set up about how we hoped, she relaxed and was breathing throughout, and then kicked at the end. I think that’s about all you could ever hope for.”
While no match for the victor, Vibrance was much the best of the rest, taking second by 4 1/2 lengths. Brill failed to fire once again and settled for third over Der Lu, while Del Mar May was never a factor and completed the order of finsh. Mother Mother was scratched.
Bellafina’s win was her third straight, including scores in the Grade 2 Sorrento Stakes two back and the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante Stakes last out. The juvenile daughter of Quality Road, purchased this past March for $800,000, increased her lifetime earnings to $488,000.
“That was great,” Prat said. “Simon and all of his team, they did a great job with her. Last time out, she was pretty aggressive. They took off the blinkers and did some work in the mornings and she ran much better today than at Del Mar. She was much better in the race today; she relaxed and did everything right.”
Bellafina returned $3.80 to win, $2.80 to place, and $2.10 to show. Vibrance brought back $6 to place and $3.40 to show, while Brill paid $3.40 to show.