SHELBYVILLE, IN – James M. Miller’s Lovely Bernadette rallied with a furlong remaining to drive home late and win Wednesday’s $200,000 Indiana Grand Stakes.
Breaking well from post 7 under Florent Geroux, Lovely Bernadette settled just off the pace while I’m Betty G set initial splits of :23.40, :47.04, and 1:10.98. Commencing a rally at the 1/8-pole, Lovely Bernadette quickly caught and passed the leader before clearing away to win by 1 1/2 lengths in a final time of 1:35.37 for the mile-long turf event.
“She was very sharp today and she broke super sharp from the gate,” Geroux said. “I just wanted to nurse her around there because I know she can really finish. She gave me a good kick at the end. I had not ridden her before, but I have run against her, and she always beat me. She is a very honest filly and always tries very hard.”
I’m Betty G was able to hold second, a length in front of a three-way photo finish for third that ultimately went to Youngest Daughter over Excessivespending and Princess La Quinta, each a neck apart. Mannerly, India Mantuana, Sully’s Dream, Bellavais, and China Grove completed the order of finish. Sensitive and Happy Mesa were scratched.
The win was Lovely Bernadette’s fifth in 12 career starts and pushed the James DiVito trainee’s lifetime bankroll over $300,000.
We are very proud of this filly,” said Miller. “She can really fly and has always had a big kick at the end and she still does that now. I’m a hands-on type of guy, so we work together on her schedule, but I give credit to Jimmy because he picked her out and he’s the one that trains her.”
Lovely Bernadette returned $8.20 to win, $5.20 to place, and $3.80 to show. I’m Betty G brought back $17.20 to place and $7.80 to show, while Youngest Daughter paid $4.20 to show.