Love Reigns Supreme in $150K Bolton Landing

August 21, 2022

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Stonestreet Stables’ Love Reigns (IRE) provided trainer Wesley Ward with a record extending fifth victory in Sunday’s eighth renewal of the $150,000 Bolton Landing, a 5 1/2-furlong Mellon turf sprint for juvenile fillies, at Saratoga Race Course. 

The Irish-bred daughter of U S Navy Flag made a winning return from her fourth-place finish in the Group 2 Queen Mary on June 15 at Royal Ascot which followed a sparkling 9 3/4-length debut score in April at Keeneland.

Ward said he is hopeful that Love Reigns can follow in the footsteps of filly Twilight Gleaming, who he saddled to victory against the boys in last year’s Grade 2 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Del Mar.

“She’s a nice filly. She came through today,” Ward said. “I’m looking forward to the Breeders’ Cup at her home track at Keeneland, I’ll tell you that.”

With regular pilot Irad Ortiz, Jr. up, Love Reigns broke alertly and tracked the early foot of Sweet Harmony though splits of 22.34 seconds and 44.87 over the firm going. Ortiz, Jr. angled Love Reigns to the outside of Sweet Harmony into the turn and quickly established command, drawing off to a 2 1/2-length win in a final time of 1:02.03.

Photo by NYRA/Coglianese

The Luis Saez-piloted Danse Macabre closed to complete the exacta by three-quarters of a length over the slow-starting Redifined with the Ward-trained No Kay Never, Sweet Harmony, Aztec Nights, Kerry, Sicilian Grandma and Motown Mischief rounding out the order of finish. Grand Oak was scratched.

“It was nice today that she rated kindly. She had been doing that in the morning, but morning and afternoon are two different animals,” said Ward, who won the Bolton Landing previously with Con Te Partiro [2016], Stillwater Cove [2018], Kimari [2019] and Chi Town Lady [2021]. “We had that other filly [Sweet Harmony] go up there with her and Irad eased her back in second. When he went ahead and tapped her on the shoulder, she kicked away from them. That’s what you want to see, especially from a 3-5 shot. She certainly stamped herself here as our top prospect for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint.”

Ortiz, Jr. said Love Reigns was professional in victory.

“She did everything perfect,” said Ortiz, Jr., who leads the Saratoga meet with 41 victories. “She broke good and the other horse came out faster than she did. I came over, sat second in the clear and waited for the time to go and she did the rest.”

Saez said he was impressed with his first afternoon experience aboard Danse Macabre, who was making her stakes debut from a frontrunning maiden score in July at Colonial Downs for trainer Kelsey Danner.

“We had a little bit of trouble at the half-mile pole,” Saez said. “Going five-eighths everyone runs away from there. But she ran a good race, she finished pretty strong and I think she has a good future.”

The well-bred Love Reigns, out of the Pivotal mare Humble and Proud, is a half-sister to 2018 Grade 1 Sword Dancer champ Glorious Empire, by Holy Roman Emperor. Bred in Ireland by Patrick Grogan, Love Reigns banked $82,500 in victory while improving her record to 3-2-0-0. She returned $3.40 for a $2 win ticket.

Live racing resumes Wednesday at Saratoga with a 10-race card featuring the $135,000 John’s Call in Race 9. First post is 1:05 p.m. Eastern.  

 By Keith McCalmont
Main Photo by NYRA/Coglianese

@PastTheWire Great read brought back some sad memories.The only race she lost killed her. Legacy. @jonathanstettin

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