In her first four lifetime starts, Bella Sofia had been triumphant three times. In her fifth start in the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., the 3-year-old filly added to that total with an easy victory over a short field of older fillies, going gate-to-wire to get her second graded stakes victory.
Bella Sofia took the initiative at the start, darting out to a one-length lead over Lady Rocket, who was able to take up second position despite stumbling at the break. The 3-year-old filly went :22.46 for the first quarter and then :45.40 for the half-mile, her lead three-quarters of a length going into the far turn, with Lady Rocket still second.
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Into the stretch, jockey Luis Saez gave Bella Sofia the cue to go, the filly putting five lengths between her and the closest contender before Saez powered her down.
At the wire, she was 3 1/2 lengths in front of Lady Rocket, traveling the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.69. Lake Avenue and Don’t Call Me Mary rounded out the field.
Bella Sofia paid $2.80 and $2.10. Lady Rocket paid $3.90.
“Luis [Saez] and I talked before the race and if someone else wanted the lead we’d let them go, but she’s so quick out of the gate. The one time we got beat [in the Jersey Girl] she stumbled out of the gate bad. I don’t think she necessarily needs to be on the lead, but when you have this type of horse you have to take advantage of it” trainer Rudy Rodriguez stated after the race.
“She’s very special. From Day One when I rode her and broke her maiden here, she gave me a feeling she’s a Grade 1-winner. In the Test, she proved she can really run and today was easy for her, ” Saez told the NYRA Press Office after the Gallant Bloom. “She finished up strong and did it easy. I had a lot of horse.”
Bred in Kentucky by Two Tone Farms, Bella Sofia is by Awesome Patriot out of the Consolidator mare Love Contract. She is owned by Michael Imperio, Medallion Racing, Sofia Soares, Vincent Scuderi, and Parkland Thoroughbreds.
The filly was consigned by Grassroots Training and Sales at the 2020 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company July Two-Year-Olds and Horses of Racing Age Sale and purchased by Sallusto and Albina, agent, for $20,000. With her win in the G2 Gallant Bloom, Bella Sofia has career earnings of $542,600.
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