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Flavien Prat aboard Bellabel after winning the 2022 Blue Norther Stakes
There were three listed stakes races on the second Sunday of the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting. Conditions were excellent with a firm course, sunny skies, and temperatures in the mid 60's for the 7,811 fans in attendance. The $100,000 Blue Norther Stakes featured 3-year-old fillies going 1 mile on the turf. After 1 scratch, Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) 8th place finisher Helens Well was sent off as the 11-10 favorite in the field of 6 off her close 4th in the Jimmy Durante Stakes (G3). In to challenge her included 5-2 second choice Bellabel, winner of the Naas Business Club Nursery Handicap at Naas in Ireland, and 9-2 third choice Shoppingforpharoah, 7th in the Golden Gate Debutante last out.
Bellabel leads down the stretch in the Blue Norther Stakes
Jockey Ricardo Gonzalez sent Shoppingforpharoah to the lead first time by and she set fractions of 24.71, 49.27, and 1:13.67 while pressed by Helens Well and stalked by 13-1 longest shot Fortunata Tensio. Turning for home, Bellabel, 4th early under Flavien Prat, came out 3 wide for room and swept to the lead through 7f in 1:25.20. Kept to task by Prat, Bellabel drew off late to win by 2 1/4 lengths over Shoppingforpharoah in 1:36.86. It was another 1/2 length back to favorite Helens Well third.
Bellabel wins the Blue Norther Stakes
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 6 Bellabel Prat 7.00 4.60 2.20 7 Shoppingforpharoah Gonzalez 6.80 3.00 5 Helens Well Rispoli 2.10 Winning Time: 1.36.86 $1 Exacta 6-7 11.40 $1 Trifecta 6-7-5 35.30 $1 Superfecta 6-7-5-3 76.30
Left: Bellabel in the winner's circle. Winning owner Michael Nentwig said, "We're thrilled to have her. It was a last minute entry on Phil's decision. We gave him every opportunity to scratch because we liked Helens Well too, and he said no that we needed to run this filly too, so hat's off to Phil for doing that. It's a good team effort, I'm happy for these guys and thrilled for her going forward."
Right: Bellabel heads back to the barn after the race. Winning trainer Phil D'Amato said, "She'd shown enough ability where I thought she merited a shot in this race. Hat's off to Niles Dalton for finding these gems and Michael and the partners for putting up the money. I think I really had this filly about 80 percent fit too, so I think there is definitely room to improve here."
Left: Bellabel in the paddock before the race. Winning jockey Flavien Prat said, "We broke quite slow, so I was trying to get going and she responded so well that I actually found myself on the lead a bit sooner than I expected, but once I asked her to make her move, she was there for me. I really like the way she quickened down the lane. She should have a good future."
Right: Bellabel in the post parade.
Left: Second place finisher Shoppingforpharoah returns after the race. The Jonathan Wong trainee improved her record to 1 win, 2 seconds, and 0 thirds in 4 starts, earning $74,650 for owner Tommy Town Thoroughbreds.
Right: Third place finisher and beaten favorite Helens Well in the post parade. The Phil D'Amato trainee improved her record to 1 win, 2 seconds, and 1 third in 7 starts, earning $130,976 for owners Benowitz Family Trust, CYBT, Madaket Stables, Michael Nentwig, and Ray Pagano.
Cabo Spirit wins the Eddie Logan Stakes
50-1 longest shot Bally's Charm and 40-1 Street Art dueled for the lead through fractions of 23.07, 47.26, and 1:12.34 while stalked by 11-2 Handy Dandy and 12-1 Barsabas. Turning for home Bally's Charm gained a short lead through 7f in 1:23.68 but tired late. Cabo Spirit, 6th early under Victor Espinoza, came out 3 wide for room and rallied past to win by 1 1/4 lengths over favorite Maglev in 1:36.38. It was a neck back to Handy Dandy third.
Left: Cabo Spirit in the winner's circle. Winning trainer George Papaprodromou said, "I think last time at the Grade 3 (Cecil B DeMille), he moved a little too soon, but what can I say he ran a huge race that day too. Today what I did was put the cheaters (blinkers) on him a little bit. Last time I had to put on the semis and he couldn't see the horse from the inside and outside. He kind of got a little confused I think, but today he just ran great. He settled nicely on the backside and he did run huge at the end."
Right: Cabo Spirit heads back to the barn after the race. Winning jockey Victor Espinoza said, "The turf is a little soft, so I figured if I go to the front, my chances wouldn't be that great, so I decided to take him back a little bit and just let him run in the end. If it works out, it works out, if not, we go for the next one. It seemed like he really liked that style and when I had a little room to let him run down the stretch, he opened up two lengths in no time. Now I learned something new from him, he can lay close or come from off the pace, which is great for him, he can go either way."
Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Maglev in the paddock before the race. The Mark Glatt trainee improved his record to 1 win, 3 seconds, and 0 thirds in 6 starts, earning $54,950 for owners Red Baron's Barn and Rancho Temescal.
Right: Third place finisher Handy Dandy returns after the race. The Ruben Alvarado trainee improved his record to 1 win, 0 seconds, and 1 third in 4 starts, earning $56,600 for owners Altamira Racing Stable, CYBT, Marc Lantzman, and Michael Nentwig.
Edgeway wins the Kalookan Queen Stakes
Jockey John Velazquez sent Edgeway to the lead exiting the chute and she set fractions of 22.15 and 44.96 while pressed by Merneith and stalked by Stellar Sound. Turning for home, Edgeway cleared the field, drawing off to win by 1 3/4 lengths over Merneith in 1:16.85. It was a long 5 1/2 lengths back to Stellar Sound third, and 1/2 a length more to Queengol last.
Left: Edgeway in the winner's circle. Winning owner Kosta Hronis said, "That was really good. She bounced out of the Breeders' Cup (Filly & Mare Sprint) really well. I think the plan was to give her a little bit more of a break, but she's been asking to run, so John (Sadler) had her all trained up and ready to go. It's an honor to have John (Velazquez). Any time we can have jockeys like this on the West Coast, we're always happy to see that."
Right: Edgeway in the paddock before the race. Winning jockey John Velazquez said, "I watched her run, obviously, she runs really good races. Today, the strategy was to chase them or chase me. I broke (well), let her run to the lead and let them catch me…when I asked her to run, she responded right away so I'm very proud. Thanks for the opportunity given to me here for riding these good horses."
Left: Second place finisher Merneith in the paddock before the race. The Bob Baffert trainee improved her record to 4 wins, 4 seconds, and 2 thirds in 11 starts, earning $373,620 for owner HRH Prince Sultan Bin Mishal Al Saud.
Right: Third place finisher Stellar Sound in the post parade. The Mike McCarthy trainee improved her record to 3 wins, 0 seconds, and 5 thirds in 11 starts, earning $209,632 for owner-breeder Don Alberto Stable.
The winner of the Corgi Winter Nationals
Left: The Corgis break from the starting gate.
Right: They look pretty serious about winning during the races.
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