Sofia Soares, Michael Imperio, Vincent S. Scuderi, Matthew Mercurio, Mazel Stable Partners LLC, and Gabrielle Farm's BELLA SOFIA aced the Longines Test Stakes (G1), overpowering her rivals and repelling SOUPER SENSATIONAL in deep stretch to capture Saturday's G1 $500,000 event at Saratoga.
Ridden by jockey Luis Saez, and sent off at odds of 4-1, BELLA SOFIA was the fastest out of the gate but conceded the lead for a stalking trip, just off of pacesetter ILLUMINATION, who zipped through opening quarters of 22.84 and 45.70.
"She broke perfectly. We were looking for that spot right there to sit and make a run into the stretch," Saez said. "She did it so well and so beautifully. She came through the stretch pretty smoothly. I knew the one horse [Illumination] had some speed, so the plan was to break from there, relax and make one move with her. She's a pretty nice filly." (HRN)
The field took closer order turning for home. With three furlongs left, Luis Saez asks for more run and BELLA SOFIA flashes her brilliant turn of foot, spurting clear to a five length advantage and kicking on for home to cross the line first. SOUPER SENSATIONAL made a brave bid in the stretch but could do better today than second. SEARCH RESULTS, who was under a heavy drive and hardly making progress, finished third. The final time for the seven furlong task was 1:21:54.
BELLA SOFIA paid $10.40 to win $5.70 to place, and $4.00 to show. She is by AWESOME PATRIOT out of LOVE CONTRACT by CONSOLIDATOR. She improves her record to 3 wins and 1 second from 4 total starts. She pushes her earnings to $405,100 and earned a new top speed figure to shoe.
"I know we asked a lot. We're just happy to have her in the barn. The day she broke her maiden, she put everybody away impressively," winning trainer Rodriguez said. "She was training good. You know when you draw the outside, you pretty much just let the jockey figure out what they want to do. She broke better than anybody. I thought she was going to be out front when she broke that good. She was nice and comfortable and she was running very well for him and when he asked her, she was there for him." (HRN)
Source: Equibase, Horse Racing Nation