DEL MAR, CA – Bellafina was almost too good to be true in Sunday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Sorrento Stakes at Del Mar. The two-year-old daughter of Quality Road went wire-to-wire to break her maiden and became a graded stakes winner in her second career start.
All ten horses broke well in a mad dash for the lead as nearly the entire field spread out across the track. The speedy Bellafina showed some heart to get out in front of the rest and never looked back as she set fractions of :21.82 and :45.25 while cruising to a 4 1/4 length victory with a final time of 1:10.61. At the top of the stretch, there were only three horses that even looked to be within striking distance of the leader. Dragic, Reflect, and Boujie Girl lined up three-wide in a last ditch effort to catch Bellafina. Reflect quickly faded as Dragic and Boujie Girl made it a race to place with the late-running Del Mar May close behind and coming on strong. Del Mar May ended up catching Boujie Girl in a photo for second while Dragic settled for fourth.
This was the second stakes win of the day for jockey Flavien Prat who also won the G3 La Jolla aboard River Boyne. When asked about Bellafina, Prat said, “She’s got some speed and she was comfortable. I asked her for her kick on the turn and she gave it to me. She felt good and I think she’ll run farther, too.”
Bellafina was purchased by Kaleem Shah Inc. for $800,000 at the Fasig-Tipton tw0-year-olds in training sale last March and finished second in her first start at Los Alamitos in July.
“She showed us in the afternoon what she has been showing us in the morning,” said trainer Simon Callaghan. “I actually didn’t expect her to be on the lead; I just told Flavien (Prat) to break and take it from there. I think she’s a filly with a big future and she’s just going to keep getting better. I don’t want to say yes, definitely (to the Del Mar Debutante). It’s a possibility, but when you’ve got a filly that you think this much of, it’s better to be a little patient and work your way back from the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies .”
Bellafina returned $8.40 to win, $4,40 to place, and $3,40 to show. Del Mar May brought back $4.00 to place and $3.40 to show, while Dragic paid $5.60 to show.