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ELMONT, NY – Saturday’s featured race at Belmont Park was one for the Ladies, with 7/5 second choice Sadie Lady surging to the front and outkicking 6/5 favorite Fierce Lady in a gate-to-wire 1 1/2-length victory in the $100,000 Dancin Renee for New York-bred fillies and mares 4 years old and up contested at 6 furlongs.
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The eighth edition of the Dancin Renee saw Dennis Narlinger’s Sadie Lady, ridden by Jose Ortiz, break sharp and go to the front, leading the five-horse field through the opening 1/4-mile in 22.79 seconds and the 1/2 in 45.61 on the fast main track.
Sadie Lady was challenged in the stretch by Fierce Lady but had enough in reserve to win for the third time in 4 starts, completing the sprint in 1:11.05 for trainer Rob Atras.
Ortiz, who notched his third win on the card, rode Sadie Lady for the first time and earned his third victory in the Dancin Renee (Clear Pasaj in 2013 and La Verdad in 2015).
“When we passed the 1/2-mile pole, she switched to her left lead and she kind of went on her own,” Ortiz said. “I knew I had enough room to wait, but she went on her own. It was hard to take that momentum away from her. I just let her do her thing and use her speed and she used it well. I was happy with how she carried on. She ran a very good race. Her speed is her weapon.”
The Freud mare won for the second time in 3 starts to commence her 5-year-old campaign. She bested Call On Mischief by a head in the Correction going the Dancin Renee distance in her seasonal bow in March at Aqueduct and followed with a runner-up effort last out in the Vagrancy Handicap (G3) at 6 1/2 furlongs last month at Belmont.
Sadie Lady, running back in a restricted stakes, posted her first victory at Belmont since winning her career debut in September 2018.
“I know she’s very fast and she’s actually cleared quite easily in her other races,” Atras said. “I was a little concerned that Ruvies in Time might challenge us out of the gate, but (Sadie Lady) broke so sharp and Jose just let her roll out of there and everything went to plan.”
Sadie Lady, bred by JMJ Racing Stables, improved her career earnings to $406,232. She returned $4.90 on a $2 win wager.
“She’s a really cool filly and likes to win,” Atras said. “She’s not easy in the morning and the exercise rider does a really good job with her.”
Fierce Lady, owned by Nice Guys Stables and Steve Hornstock, earned a placing in her first stakes appearance since January 2020, besting Ruvies in Time by a 1/2length for second. The Brittany Russell trainee, bred by Sugar Maple Farm, returned from a nearly 6-month layoff to win against optional claimers last out in May at Belmont and recorded her best stakes performance since running second in the 2019 Joseph A. Gimma.
“I thought there would be more pace. The plan was to come flying at the end, but the winner went to the lead and had it easy,” said Fierce Lady jockey Luis Saez.
Espresso Shot and Eloquent Speaker completed the order of finish. Good Credence scratched.
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