ELMONT, NY – Don Alberto Stable’s homebred Rubilinda successfully stretched out to a mile for the first time, taking Saturday’s $200,000 Pebbles Stakes at Belmont Park.
Breaking a bit slow from post 6 under Jose Ortiz, Rubilinda fought her jockey while riding fourth behind Sylphide through fractions of :23.03, :46.46, and 1:10.91. Commencing a rally three-wide through the far turn, Rubilinda dug in at the top of the stretch and rallied to the front, then held off late bids to her outside from Party Boat and Thais to complete the mile-long turf event in a final time of 1:34.72.
“She’s been a great filly since the first day I rode her,” Ortiz said. “She was very impressive in her debut. Stretching out to a mile has been a little complicated for me and her to get along because she’s going to be a little keen. She trains like that in the morning – a little keen – too.”
Party Boat was a nose behind in the official photo finish, with Thais a head back in third.
Lido was neck in front of the dead-heating pair of Sylphide and Scheme, with Bellavais, Dynatail, and Adorable Miss completing the order of finish.
The win improved Rubilinda’s career record to 4-3-1-0 and was her second straight stakes victory following last month’s $100,000 Christiecat.The 3-year-old daughter of Frankel improved her career earnings to $240,400.
“She ran well,” Brown said. “She was still a little green there down the lane, switching leads and the such. He said when he pulled her into daylight a little earlier than she had been, she was pulling a little bit, so she still has some learning to do, but she ran good.”
The win gave Brown and Ortiz a clean sweep of both Saturday stakes races, triumphing one race earlier in the Grade 3, $150,000 Futurity with Engage.
Rubilinda returned $4.40 to win, $2.90 to place, and $2.20 to show. Party Boat brought back $3.10 to place and $2.10 to show, while Thais paid $2.40 to show.