LAUREL, Md. – Stronach Stables Inc. homebred Belle of the North, giving up seasoning to each of her rivals while making her stakes debut, came flying on the far outside to edge Fraudulent Charge by a half-length and complete a last-to-first rally in the $100,000 Safely Kept at Laurel Park.
The 31st running of the Safely Kept for 3-year-old fillies was the second of three stakes on the program, preceded by the City of Laurel for 3-year-olds, also sprinting seven furlongs, and followed by the 1 1/8-mile Richard W. Small for 3-year-olds and up.
Belle of the North ($20.60) won in 1:24.02 over fast main track to give jockey Horacio Karamanos his fourth career Safely Kept victory following Bending Strings (2004), Greed and Fear (2012) and Lady Sabelia (2013). It was the first for trainer Jose Corrales.
“If I don’t say yes, I’d be lying to you, because that’s what I was expecting,” Corrales said. “[I thought] if the race set up today the way I expected, my filly will get them in the end.”
Belle of the North was making just her sixth career start, all this year, after going unraced at 2. She was second to undefeated Moquist in her most recent effort Oct. 16 at Laurel following a 5 ½-length maiden special weight win Sept. 24.
Karamanos was unhurried in the early going racing along the rail while trailing the field as stakes winners Malibu Beauty and Prodigy Doll battled up front through splits of 22.99 and 46.10 seconds with Fraudulent Charge in the clear three wide and eight-time stakes winner Street Lute, the 2-1 favorite, saving ground inside.
Fraudulent Charge took over the top spot midway around the turn and was in front through the stretch with Street Lute giving chase. Meanwhile, Karamanos tipped Belle of the North from the rail to the far outside to launch their bid and they came with a steady run to reel in Fraudulent Charge near the wire.
Runner-up in a stakes for the fourth time in seven career starts, Fraudulent Charge was 3 ½ lengths clear of Street Lute in third. It was 1 ¾ lengths back to Juror Number Four followed by Happy Constitution, Malibu Beauty, Prodigy Doll and Be Sneaky.
“When she was following [Street Lute] I said, ‘stay there, stay there,’ because she will find a path,” Corrales said. “The horse found a way to get there.”
Belle of the North is a bay daughter of Grade 1 winner Street Boss whose mare, Harley Rose, is a half-sister to Hall of Fame mare Zenyatta.
The Safely Kept honors the champion sprinter of 1989 and member of the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame Class of 2011. The daughter of longtime Maryland sire Horatius was the first sprinter to top $2 million in earnings, the first Maryland-bred to win a Breeders’ Cup race in the 1990 Sprint (G1), a four-time Maryland-bred champion including Horse of the Year twice (1989,1990) and is one of only seven horses to win three Maryland Million races. She won 24 races, 22 in stakes, from 31 lifetime starts.
Safely Kept Replay
David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club
Photo: Belle of the North (MJC)