ELMONT, N.Y. — Estilo Talentoso overcame a thunderstorm delay and a ferocious battle with Lake Avenue from the sixteenth pole to the wire to notch her first graded stakes score on a sealed and sloppy racetrack in the 64th running of the Grade 3, $300,000 Bed o’ Roses at Belmont Park on Friday.
The 4-year-old daughter of Maclean’s Music, who had never finished out of the money in all 13 of her prior starts, took advantage of some class relief as her last two efforts had been against top-level competition where she deadheated as the runner up in Keeneland’s Grade 1 Madison Stakes in April and then in May took third in the Grade 1 Derby City Distaff behind champion Gamine.
The win was also the first graded stakes score for veteran trainer Juan Arriagada, who conditions Estilo Talentoso for the partnership of Medallion Racing, Barry Fowler, Parkland Thoroughbreds, Little Red Feather Racing, and BlackRidge Stables.
“I feel like I’m blessed,” said Arriagada. “To be in Belmont today and to win with her, it’s one of the more beautiful things that could happen in my life right now. I appreciate the owners giving me the opportunity. She is very special to me, that’s the only thing I can tell you. I worked with her when she was a two-year-old. Finally, this is the fifth race she had with the new owners and thank God she won the race.”
Sent off as the 5-2 second choice in the field of six older fillies and mares, Estilo Talentoso rallied from off the quick early pace of :22.90 seconds and 45:87 for the first half-mile set by 9-5 favorite Victim of Love and then found her best stride in the stretch under a confident ride from Hall of Famer Javier Castellano to best Lake Avenue at the wire by a neck while Bayerness was another 1 ¾ lengths behind. She covered the seven furlongs in 1:22.96.
“It went well. That’s what I was looking for today,” said Castellano. “Everything worked out perfect, the way it was set up. The two speed horses [went to the front] and I tried to keep track of the third horse, outside, because there seemed to be a lot of puddles on the rail, but my horse helped me to handle the situation very well. When I asked her, she responded very well and did it very well.”
Pacific Gale, Victim of Love, and Alandra rounded out the order of finish. Chub Wagon and Piedi Bianchi, the runner-up in the Grade 3 Intercontinental Stakes here on June 3, scratched.
Estilo Talentoso returned $7.40 on a $2 win wager.
“She was handling it [the slop] pretty well. I had a good spot as well,” said Lake Avenue jockey Junior Alvarado. “I was sitting where I wanted to be and picked up when I wanted to. We just got beat by another horse who really put in a strong run today. I was happy with the effort.”
The Bed o’ Roses is named in honor of Alfred G. Vanderbilt’s dual champion, who earned title of Champion 2-Year-Old Filly in 1949 and was crowned Champion Older Mare two years later. Trained by Hall of Famer William Winfrey, Bed o’ Roses defeated colts in the 1950 Lawrence Realization travelling 1 5/8 miles. She was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1976.
The Belmont Stakes Racing Festival continues Saturday and is headlined by the 153rd running of the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets. Belmont Stakes Day will feature nine graded stakes, including eight Grade 1s, capped by the “Test of the Champion” for 3-year-olds in the 1 1/2-mile final leg of the Triple Crown. First post on Saturday is 11:35 a.m. Eastern.
Belmont Park Press Release by Lynne Snierson
Photo: Estilo Talentoso (NYRA/Susie Raisher)