ELMONT, N.Y. – Truth Hurts, trained and co-owned by Chad Summers with J Stables, registered a dominant victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Perfect Sting for older fillies and mares contested at one-mile over a sloppy and sealed main track at Belmont Park.
The eighth running of the Perfect Sting was originally scheduled for one-mile on the Widener turf course before inclement weather forced the race to the main track, resulting in the scratches of Honey Cake, Princess Grace, Sunset Kiss, Madita and 4/5 morning-line favorite Viadera.
Truth Hurts, entered for the main-track only, added blinkers and the services of Belmont Stakes-winning rider Luis Saez to secure her first stakes win in her fifth attempt.
Multiple graded-stakes placed Piedi Bianchi broke alertly under Flavien Prat and marked the quarter-mile in 23.88 seconds and the half-mile in 47.54 under outside pressure from Truth Hurts on the sloppy and sealed main track.
Main-track only entrant Velvet Crush, the 3-5 mutuel favorite under Jose Ortiz, stalked the pacesetters from third position into the turn as Truth Hurts took over from Piedi Bianchi and established a three-length lead at the stretch call.
Truth Hurts, the longest shot on the board at 8-1, continued to find more down the lane and powered home a 5 3/4-length winner in a final time of 1:37.48.
Piedi Bianchi completed the exacta, three lengths in front of Velvet Crush. Hogans Holiday, who trailed throughout, completed the order of finish.
Summers said the equipment change proved beneficial.
“She was getting better and better and we were just waiting for the right time to put the blinkers on her,” said Summers. “We put it on her last week and at that point, we were ready for an allowance race at Saratoga, but we saw the weather forecast here. We thought if it came off, we’d take a chance and then we played the waiting game.
“My filly was ready, and we got the call around 12 or so that it was taken off the turf,” Summers added. “Everything worked out well. Luis was able to come in and it worked out.”
Saez said he felt confident throughout.
“She broke pretty nicely. She was right there behind the speed,” said Saez. “At the three-eighths [pole], she was very comfortable. She came out of the stretch and responded really well.”
The 4-year-old Tonalist bay graduated at first asking in December 2019 at Aqueduct Racetrack and followed with a smart optional-claiming win in January 2020 at the same track.
Bred in Ontario by William D. Graham, Truth Hurts continued her 3-year-old year with off-the-board efforts in the Busanda at the Big A and the Audubon Oaks at Ellis Park ahead of a good third in the Bison City at Woodbine in September. Truth Hurts completed a busy sophomore season with an eighth in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico.
A $35,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase, Truth Hurts notched her first win in four starts this season. She banked $55,000 in victory and returned $18 for a $2 win ticket.
Summers said Truth Hurts is rounding into form and will target opportunities at the Saratoga summer meet.
“We tried the Black-Eyed Susan and it was maybe a little too aggressive at that time,” said Summers. “We gave her some time off after that and it was just about getting her back into shape. She made some good moves.
“You lose the two-other-than condition now, but we’ll regroup and go from here,” Summers continued. “With the prestigious meet in Saratoga coming up, there’s always spots that are open, so we’ll see once again if she belongs in that upper echelon as the racing gets tougher.”
Live racing resumes Sunday at Belmont with a 10-race Independence Day card highlighted by the $100,000 Manila in Race 9 and the Grade 2, $250,000 John A. Nerud in Race 10. First post is 1 p.m. Eastern.
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By Keith McCalmont
Photo: Truth Hurts (Joe Labozzetta)