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Come Dancing Sambas in Gallant Bloom

Come Dancing Sambas in Gallant Bloom

ELMONT, NY – Blue Devil Racing Stable’s Come Dancing continued her torrid tear through the filly and mare sprint division on Sunday, sambaing victoriously in the $300,000 Gallant Bloom Handicap (G2) at Belmont Park.

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Breaking from post 3 as the 1/5 favorite under Javier Castellano, Come Dancing ran three-wide throughout the early running. The bettors’ choice ran within striking distance as Carrera Cat and Minit to Stardom raced ahead of her through opening fractions of :22.54 and :44.99. 

Still three-wide in the far turn, Come Dancing sidled alongside the two front-runners. At the top of the stretch, she began to pull ahead despite lugging in as she struggled to change leads. Come Dancing finally straightened out at the 1/16 pole, at which point Castellano geared her down.

The Carlos Martin trainee crossed 3 1/4 lengths ahead in a final time of 1:14.96 for the 6 1/2-furlong event over the fast main track. The Gallant Bloom served as Come Dancing’s final prep before the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) on November 2.

“I didn’t want to let her break and dictate the pace,” Castellano said. “It’s a six-horse field and two main horses (Carrera Cat and Minit to Stardom) were the speed. I wanted to let her break slowly and then pick it up little by little and get my spot. My goal today was just to take it easy and put everything together for the Breeders’ Cup. I think this race is going to bridge the gap to the Breeders’ Cup. I didn’t want to squeeze the lemon. I wanted to win nice and easy, but I don’t want to overdo it.”

Though no match for the winner, Minit to Stardom was 2 1/4 lengths clear of Majestic Reason for second. A tired Carrera Cat and a non-threatening Jc’s Shooting Star completed the order of finish.

Come Dancing’s win was her fourth in five starts this season, all against graded foes, with her lone loss coming a close second in June’s local Ogden Phipps Stakes (G2). The 5-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon now sports a record of 13-8-2-0 with $1,054,950 earned, becoming racing’s newest millionaire.

“I initially had said some things right after her last race that I just was going to wait until the Breeders’ Cup, but she was just doing so well,” Martin said. “I did some research with the team and it was a perfect prep, timing-wise. The more I thought about it, the more I felt confident in running her today. Marc Holliday and the Blue Devil team have stuck with us through some tough times, and I’m glad to see her at her best as a 5-year-old.”

Come Dancing returned $2.50 to win, $2.10 to place, while Minit to Stardom paid $3.20 to place. There was no show betting.

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