DELAWARE HANDICAP | PURSE: $750,000 | 3-YEAR-OLDS & UP | FILLIES & MARES | GRADE 1 | 1 1/4 MILES
Belle Gallantey, a $35,000 claim just seven months ago, lulled her rivals to sleep on the front end and carried on to upset the $750,000 Delaware Handicap July 12 at Delaware Park. Four-time grade I winner and 1-5 favorite Princess of Sylmar finished second by 2 ¾ lengths.
A 6-1 shot who has changed hands six times through her career, Belle Gallantey was ridden by Jose Ortiz for current connections Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stable, and Gary Aisquit in the 1 ¼-mile test. She is a 5-year-old daughter of After Market trained by Rudy Rodriguez who notched her first grade I score in the Del 'Cap while making her 41st start, coming off a fifth of six in the June 7 Ogden Phipps Handicap at Belmont Park in her graded stakes debut at odds of 25-1.
Ortiz nursed Belle Gallantey along on the lead through a quarter in :24.55 seconds and a half in :49.51 seconds from post 1, and she maintained a one-length advantage for three-quarters in 1:13.63 with Flashy American in pursuit.
Princess of Sylmar, allowed to settle early, made a steady advance but had to alter course after losing her chance to split horses between Belle Gallantey and Flashy American. Swung out in upper stretch as a mile went in 1:37.44, the 123-pound highweight made her closing run and passed Flashy American but could not get to the winner.
Final time was 2:01.15 on a fast track.
Belle Gallantey returned $15.60, $4.20, and $2.80 while Princess of Sylmar brought $2.10 and $2.10 with Flashy American paying $3. Gamay Noir, Molly Morgan, and Bryan's Jewel completed the order of finish.
The winner, who carried 115 pounds, was bred in Kentucky by Pam and Martin Wygod out of the Old Trieste mare Revealed, making her third dam champion Meadow Star. She was a $10,000 purchase by Mike Puhich at the 2010 Keeneland September yearling sale when consigned by Lane's End for her breeders, and pinhooked for $30,000 at the Pegasus Thoroughbreds 2-year-olds in training sale when sold to Stuart Carmichael and Peter Tom.
Belle Gallantey made her first three starts for Carmichael, Tom, and Glen Todd at Hastings Park in 2011. She was then purchased by North American Thoroughbred Racing Company to run at Santa Anita Park, where she was first claimed by S.A.Y. Racing and trainer Doug O'Neill for $20,000.
The hard-knocking racemare made 11 starts for those connections until she was picked up by Bob Hess Jr. and Roddy Valente, who took her from California to run at Saratoga Race Course. Two starts later she went to David Cramer and Karl Grusmark, and by early 2013 she had changed hands once again, to Sunny Meadow Farm and Mitchell Freidman.
On Dec.19 of 2013, Belle Gallantey finished dead last in a field of four going six furlongs on the inner durt track at Aqueduct Racetrack. That's where she was claimed by Dubb and Rodriguez, for whom she has won four of five starts. The Del 'Cap victory extended her record to 8-12-7 with earnings of $866,270.