News and STORIES
Bellafina Takes Desert Stormer; Regal Beauty Breaks Maiden
Author: Clint Goodman
Published: Monday May 18, 2020
For the first time in over a year, Bellafina made it into the winner's circle when she took the $101,000 Desert Stormer Stakes (G3) Sunday at Santa Anita Park. On the same day, Regal Beauty, a daughter of Book Review, broke her maiden at the track.
Bellafina was the favorite in a field of seven older fillies and mares. Breaking from the gate under jockey Flavien Prat, she got off to a slow start. The early lead was held by Fighting Mad and jockey Drayden Van Dyke, followed by Artistic Diva, who pressed on through an opening quarter-mile in :21.38.
Bellafina sat in third as the frontrunners fought along the backstretch with a lot of space. As the half-mile went in :44.47, Fighting Mad held a head lead over Artistic Diva.
As the field turned for home, Bellafina made her move and began to pressure the leading pair. She ranged up three wide and was even with them at the top of the stretch. As Prat urged her forward, Bellafina opened up through midstretch and finished one length ahead at the finish.
Bellafina finished the six-furlong sprint on a fast track in 1:09.85. It was Prat's fifth victory of the day.
"This is pretty cool," said Prat. "She broke well, and she put me in a good spot, and we had those two fillies (Fighting Mad and Artistic Diva) as a target. At the quarter pole, we angled out and she did the rest. It's great to be back home with this filly; she loves it here. I won five in one day at Del Mar last summer, but never here at Santa Anita."
After sitting in the back of the field for most of the race, Hang A Star eventually moved forward and finished second. Fighting Mad finished third but was disqualified to fourth after a steward's inquiry into a claim of interference at the beginning of the race.
The rest of the field followed with Mother Mother, Artistic Diva, Tomlin, and First Star.
"It unfolded pretty much as we expected," trainer Simon Callaghan said. "We had decent speed, and Flavien had her in a great position to stalk and gave us a really good performance. It shows how much she loves Santa Anita, and we're glad to get her back in the winner's circle."
Bellafina is owned in partnership by Kaleem Shah, Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith. She improved her record to 7-3-1 from 15 starts and has $1,512,975 in earnings.
Bellafina made her season debut on April 25 at Oaklawn Park, where she finished fourth in the Carousel Stakes. Before that, her previous victory was in April 2019 when she scored the Santa Anita Oaks (G1) at Santa Anita.
She was bred in Kentucky by JSM Equine out of the Malibu Moon mare Akron Moon. A daughter of Quality Road, she was purchased for $800,000 by Shah under the name K S I from the consignment of Wavertree Stables to The Gulfstream Sale, Fasig-Tipton's March sale of 2-year-olds in training.
On the same day as Bellafina's victory, Gary and Mary West's homebred Regal Beauty broke her maiden in her third start at Santa Anita.
Regal Beauty, a 3-year-old Malibu Moon filly, came in at 11-1 odds. After breaking from second behind Full Eclipse, she eventually took the lead after a quarter-mile in :23.86. She completed a half-mile in :47.73 before pulling away on the turn for home.
Last First Kiss tried to challenge the leader, but Regal Beauty held her off and won the one-mile event by 3 1/4 lengths in 1:38.46 on a fast track.
The field also included stablemate Crystal Ball, who finished third in her debut. Classy Ruler, who came in at odds of 3-2, finished sixth.