ELMONT, NY – Don Alberto Stable’s homebred Rubilinda showed that she’s a force to be reckoned with in the 3-year-old turf filly division, using a furious last-to-first stretch drive to win Saturday’s $100,000 Christiecat at Belmont Park.
Breaking cleanly from post 4 under Jose Ortiz, Rubilinda settled at the rear of the field 7 lengths behind a pacesetting Smiling Causeway through opening splits of :22.48 and :45.54. Angled out six-wide into the stretch, Rubilinda dug deep and kicked away hard to beat Smiling Causeway to the wire by a 1/2 length, completing the 6-furlong turf sprint in a final time of 1:08.69.
“She has a great kick from the 1/4-pole home,” Ortiz said. “She broke good today – not like her debut, that day she broke bad – so I took her back a little bit in the early stages and let her do her thing in the clear in the stretch.”
Adorable Miss was up for third with good energy, crossing 3/4 of a length past Epping Forest. Heavenly Score was a head in front of Riley’s Choice, with Boos, Noble Freud, and Tickled Pink completing the order of finish. Too Much Tip was a Main-Track-Only entry.
The next step for Rubilinda may be stretching out, as she had been entered for longer distances during the Saratoga meet, but rain kept foiling the Chad Brown trainee’s attempted starts.
“She relaxes when going 6 furlongs,” Ortiz said. “We have to see what she does when she goes a mile or a little farther because she is kind of strong.”
The 3-year-old daughter of Frankel’s record now stands at 3-2-1 with $120,400 in earnings for her young career.
Rubilinda returned $3.70 to win, $2.80 to place, and $2.60 to show. Smiling Causeway brought back $8 to place and $6 to show, while Adorable Miss paid $3.60 to show.