LEXINGTON, Ky. – Lothenbach Stables’ Bell’s the One, last early in the field of six, moved to the front at the eighth pole and held on through a furious stretch drive to prevail by a neck and win the 41st running of the $250,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) for fillies and mares.
With the victory, Bell’s the One earned a spot in the starting gate for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) to be run Nov. 6 at Del Mar.
Trained by Neil Pessin and ridden by Corey Lanerie, Bell’s the One covered the 6 furlongs on the fast main track in 1:08.63, just .13 off the stakes record established by Indyanne in 2008.
Defending TCA champion Inthemidstofbiz hooked up in an early speed duel with Miss Mosaic, Estilo Talentoso and Frank’s Rockette through and opening quarter of :21.57 as Bell’s the One lagged at the back of the pack.
On the far turn, Lanerie began to close in on the field. Bell’s the One swung five wide at the head of the stretch, eased to the front at the eighth pole and had enough at the end to hold off a late bid from Club Car.
“She’s one of the best mares, if not the best horse, I’ve ever had. The only thing I regret with her is she never gets the respect she deserves. Even in this race, people weren’t even picking her on top, which made absolutely zero sense to me. The Breeders’ Cup, they got CeCe picked in front of her on the program and I’ve beat her every time I’ve run against her. So I don’t what this mare has to do to earn respect, but she’s definitely got mine,” Pessin said.
Pessin on whether earning a berth to the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint-G1 from this victory makes the decision to go to the race easier
“It does not. It will still depends on how she comes out of it. The plane reservations are still tough, the way they’ve got it—I know it’s the best they can do—but we’ll try to make a go of it if she comes out of it well.”
A 5-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Majesticperfection out of the Street Cry (IRE) mare Street Mate, Bell’s the One improved her record to 21-10-4-2 and boosted her earnings to $1,336,825 with Saturday’s $150,000 check.
“When I ride her, I just let her gather her feet underneath her and be comfortable wherever she needs to be. Today I actually tried to keep her a little closer because I was afraid if they got away from me, I wouldn’t be able to make up the ground, going 6 furlongs, and she gives everything she’s got every time. I could tell from about the five-sixteenths pole, I’m in contention where, if she gives me her kick, I’m going to catch them. She has the fastest turn-of-foot (of any horse) I’ve ever been on,” recounted Lanerie.
Bell’s the One returned $4.20, $2.80 and $2.10. Club Car, ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, returned $6.60 and $3.40 and finished a head in front of Estilo Talentoso, who paid $2.60 to show under Jose Ortiz.
“It was a perfect trip. The only thing was she was a little more keen today with the addition of blinkers. She put herself more into the race and kind of made me wait a little bit longer than I wanted to when I was looking for room, but she put in a good run. Hats off to the winner – she’s a nice filly. When I got (Club Car) out, I thought I had her the whole way, but that filly just never quit,” said Gaffalione.
It was another 1½ lengths back to Inthemidstofbiz, who was followed in order by Frank’s Rockette and Miss Mosaic.
At the Nov. 10-19 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale, Brereton C. Jones/Airdrie Stud, agent, has consigned a weanling half-sister to Bell’s the One. The filly by Collected is Hip 31 and is scheduled to sell opening day. Click here for her catalog page.
Click here for a replay of the race and the post-race interview with winning connections.
Racing continues Sunday with a 10-race program beginning at 1 p.m. ET. The $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (G1) for fillies and mares highlights three “Win and You’re In” Challenge races for the Nov. 5-6 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Del Mar.
For info on the Best Breeders’ Cup Seminar click HERE
Keeneland Press Release
Photo: Bells the One goes from last to first to victory in the Thoroughbred Club of America. (Keeneland/Coady Photography)