In characteristic fashion, Bob Lothenbach's BELL'S THE ONE made a powerful come-from-behind run to capture Wednesday's $200K Honorable Miss Stakes (G2) at Saratoga.
It was her Saratoga debut and she came away with her second career Grade 2 victory for winning trainer Neil Pessin.
Sent off as the $0.90-to-win favorite, and ridden by jockey Corey Lanerie, BELL'S THE ONE broke decently and took her position at the rear of the field, racing unhurried as the pacesetters clocked early fractions of 22.80 and 45.85. It was a lively pace for the six furlong event. The field raced strung out through the backstretch, with the eventual winner racing as far as ten lengths off the lead.
"I just let her run her race and when she got on her left lead on the turn, she said 'it's time to go' and started making up ground so easy," said Corey Lanerie. "The four-horse [Lake Avenue] actually put in more of a fight than I expected. I thought when I got to her, I was going to run away. But she wouldn't go away for a while; we were running home. This was a good race." (Paulick Report)
With three furlongs to go, BELL'S THE ONE came charging around the turn with a full head of steam, swinging seven-wide with her run. They were soon engaged by LAKE AVENUE, who also made an eye-catching move around the turn. They dueled through the final furlong.
But it was BELL'S THE ONE with the stronger late kick; she fought on and crossed the wire first by a neck. LAKE AVENUE settled for second. AIN'T NO ELMERS kept on to secure third. The final time was 1:09.83.
Lanerie continued: "She ran her own race today and I let her do it. It can get kind of scary at times, especially here at Saratoga. It's hard to win here."
BELL'S THE ONE paid $3.80 to win, $2.70 to place, and $2.30 to show. She is by MAJESTICPERFECTION out of STREET MATE by STREET CRY. She's now won two wins in a row and pushed her earnings to $1,126,825.
"They didn't go very fast," said trainer Neil Pessin. "They went 22 and four for the first quarter but she just took herself back and Corey didn't rush her, so I said we'll see what happens from there and she made her run like she usually does. It's been a hard track to close on today. I think she's the only one that deep-closed any at all, but I thought she was also the best horse in the race coming in, and I feel that way coming out."
Source: Equibase, Paulick Report