Bellabel Makes it Look Easy in Blue Norther Stakes

January 4, 2022

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 2, 2022)–Full of run into the far turn, Irish-bred Bellabel cut a sharp figure in her U.S. debut under Flavien Prat, as she stormed home to win Sunday’s $100,000 Blue Norther Stakes by 2 ¼ lengths.  Trained by Phil D’Amato, who collected his third victory on the day, Bellabel got a flat mile on turf in 1:36.86.

Victorious versus winners in an 18-horse field going one mile on turf Sept. 16 in Ireland, Bellabel was well fancied today, but had to settle for second billing in the tote, as her stablemate, fellow Irish-bred Helens Well, was off at even money and finished third.

“She’d shown enough ability where I thought she merited a shot in this race,” said D’Amato, who has developed a number of Irish-breds over the past three years in Southern California.  “Hat’s off to Niles Dalton for finding these gems and Michael (Nentwig, part owner) 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.”

Off as the 5-2 second choice in a field of six sophomore fillies, Bellabel paid $7.00, $4.60 and $2.20.

Owned by the Benowitz Family Trust, CYBT, Michael Nentwig and Ray Pagano, Bellabel picked up $60,000 for the win, increasing her earnings to $75,435 while running her overall mark to 6-2-1-1.

“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,” said Prat, who collected his second win on the Sunday card.  “I really liked the way she quickened down the lane.  She should have good future.”

Shoppingforpharoah, who jumped out to the lead under Ricky Gonzalez, battled gamely for second, finishing a half length in front of Helens Well.  Off at 9-2, Shoppingforpharoah paid $6.80 and $3.00.

Ridden by Umberto Rispoli, Helens Well, who closed much ground as the 2-1 favorite going a mile on turf in the Grade III Jimmy Durante Stakes at Del Mar Nov. 27, sat a close second today but flattened out through the drive, finishing 4 ¾ lengths better than longshot Fuente Ovejuna and paid $2.10 to show.

Fractions on the race were 24.71, 49.27, 1:13.67 and 1:25.20.

Santa Anita Press Release

Photo: Bellabel (Benoit Photo)

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Maria Schlemmer Ackerman View testimonials

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