Belle Watling Gets Second Chance In Friday Allowance
By Jack Will
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Belle Watling Syndicates’ 5-year-old Chilean-bred champion mare Belle Watling came from her native country to trainer Patrick Biancone with a big reputation - 13 victories in 16 starts. In her North American debut Feb. 20 at Gulfstream Park, she ran a respectable fourth in the $100,000 The Very One Stakes (G3) going 1 3/8th mile on the turf.
Belle Watling turns back to 1 1/8 miles on the main track for her second start since a victory in October in Chile in Friday’s race, but will face a stakes-quality field of eight fillies and mares in the $66,400 optional/allowance with jockey Julien Leparoux named to ride for the first time.
A daughter of Dushyantor, Belle Watling won eight of her 11 starts on turf in Chile and all five on the main track while earning nearly $580,000. She set the pace in the three-turn The Very One to the eighth pole before giving way late to be beaten 3 ¾ lengths for it all by high-class Keertana. Five of her last six starts in Chile were on dirt.
Farnsworth Stables’ 6-year-old Amazing, a winner of over $400,000, will be well-backed with jockey Luis Saez in the saddle for trainer Marty Wolfson in her first start since a game second-place finish behind Grade 1 winner Evening Jewel in the $300,000 Sunshine Millions Distaff at Santa Anita on Jan. 29. The chestnut daughter of Greatness was a $75,000 claim last summer at Saratoga.
Another highly-accomplished stakes performer in the field is Rose Family Stable’s 4-year-old homebred Joanie’s Catch, a winner of more than $550,000 for trainer and co-owner-breeder Barry Rose. Jockey Phil Teator picks up the mount on the daughter of First Tour, who will need to improve from a dull sixth-place finish last out in the Sabin Stakes (G3) going a mile here on Feb. 19.
Completing the field are Teresa and David Palmer’s Tesoro de Amor, Rajiv Maragh; Live Oak Plantation’s Successful Song, Edgar Prado; Ben McElroy and Edward Easton’s Omega Cat, Alex Solis; Robert Trussell’s Choice Play, Ryan Curatolo; and Pinnacle Racing Stable’s Musical Romance, Manoel Cruz.
Friday’s feature will likely yield a contender or two for the $150,000 Rampart Stakes (G2) to be run over the track and distance on Sat. Apr. 2.