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2011 Gallant Bloom Handicap

Javier Castellano and Pomeroys Pistol return after winning the 2011 Gallant Bloom Handicap
Date: 09/24/2011

The feature race on Saturday at Belmont Park was the $150,000 Foxwoods Gallant Bloom Handicap (G2) for older fillies and mares sprinting 6 1/2 furlongs on the main track. It is the major local prep for the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1). After overnight rains, the track was listed as "good" with overcast skies and temperatures in the mid 70's, with just 5,366 fans in attendance. Honorable Miss Handicap (G2) winner Tar Heel Mom was sent off as the 6-5 favorite in the field of 6, off her second place finish in the Ballerina (G1) at Saratoga. In to challenge her included 2-1 second choice Pomeroys Pistol, second in her last 2 starts, the Prioress (G1) and the Test (G1), and 9-2 third choice Tamarind Hall, third in the Ballerina (G1) after winning the Bed O'Roses (G3).

Pomeroys Pistol draws off in the stretch.

Jockey Rajiv Maragh sent 18-1 longest shot Moontune Missy to the lead immediately and she set opening fractions of 22.15 and 45.02 while being stalked by Pomeroys Pistol just to her outside. Entering the stretch, Moontune Missy tired allowing Pomeroys Pistol to take over the lead, opening up a 1 1/2 length advantage in mid-stretch through 3/4 in 1:09.85. Tamarind Hall, fourth early, put in a late rally but Pomeroys Pistol was long gone, cruising under the line 4 lengths clear in 1:16.60 over the good track. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to late-running 14-1 Lovely Lil third. Favorite Tar Heel Mom checked in fifth.
Pgm  Horse              Jockey         Win   Place  Show
 6   Pomeroys Pistol    Castellano    6.10    3.40  3.10
 4   Tamarind Hall      Cohen                 4.50  3.90
 5   Lovely Lil         Dominguez                   6.20

Winning Time:  1:16.60

$2 Exacta 6-4                23.60
$2 Trifecta 6-4-5           143.50
Results Chart

Left: Pomeroys Pistol in the winner's circle. Her trainer Amy Tarrant said, "I thought she was absolutely awesome. It was the best result we could possibly expect: it wasn't by a nose, it wasn't by a head. She pretty much dominated, I think, in the race. We're very excited about it, and now she is going to go home for a nice rest and we're going to be looking towards the Breeders' Cup [Filly & Mare Sprint] for her. We'll be staying at Monmouth and shipping out to Kentucky on Oct. 31."

Right: Pomeroys Pistol heads back to the barn after the race.

Left: Pomeroys Pistol in the paddock before the race. Tarrant added, "I'm very happy about (beating older females) because that's who she'll be facing in the Breeders' Cup. There will be a few 3-year-olds, but it will mostly be the older girls. They were a nice group of horses today, which makes me even happier. When she comes into the paddock like an old cart horse and is quiet like that, she always has a great race."

Right: Pomeroys Pistol in the post parade. Her jockey Javier Castellano, who won 5 races on the card, said, "I am very blessed and very appreciative for all the trainers to give me the opportunity. I never rode for [Amy Tarrant] before, but today we had very good success. The filly is really strong. She's so big and talented. The way the race unfolded, she put herself in good position, which helped me a lot, and when I asked her she took off. Very nice filly, and very impressive first time against older fillies."

Left: Second place finisher Tamarind Hall in the paddock before the race. The 9-2 third choice rated in 4th early under jockey David Cohen, closed late but was no match for the winner The Jeremiah Englehart trainee improved her record to 7 wins, 2 seconds, and 3 thirds in 20 starts, earning $253,204 for owner Eklektikos Stable.

Right: Third place finisher Lovely Lil heads out to the track before the race. The 14-1 fifth choice was unhurried in 5th 5 lengths off the pace under jockey Ramon Dominguez, then passed tiring runners later to get third beaten 5 1/2 lengths. The Michael Hushion trainee improved her record to 4 wins, 1 second, and 1 third in 9 starts, earning $169,890 for owner Barry Schwartz.

Fifth place finisher and beaten favorite Tar Heel Mom returns after the race. The 6-5 favorite stalked the pace in third 2 1/2 lengths back under jockey Alex Solis, came out for room but could not rally, finishing 5th beaten 7 3/4 lengths. The Stanley Hough trainee has a record of 11 wins, 8 seconds, and 5 thirds in 30 starts, earning $832,892 for owner Alex Rankin.

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