Belle Third

Brilliant Belle and Rafael Mojica, Jr. made the best out of a tough draw and finished 3rd today at Churchill Downs, earning $1800 in the process.

The 12 post in a sprint, especially with a filly that breaks alertly (usually) is problematic at best.  Raffie was able to get her off the early pace and she finished strongly, fighting hard to maintain third.

We’ll see how she came out of the race and look to have her back at this same spot.  I think with a better draw we will have a shot at closing out the year with a win.  She drew some attention today with her run and was markedly better than two of three horses that were claimed out of the race (the winner was also claimed)so hopefully we’ll get a sale out of the next race as well.

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Belle – Race Preview

Welcome to Churchill Downs!

Belle will be taking on a full field of $5000 claimers in the 10th race this afternoon (about 6:10 our time – watch and wager at Canterbury whilst enjoying Day 1 of the Breeders’ Cup).

Our girl drew the outside for the six furlong dash and will have Rafael Mojica Jr. aboard.

Prom Theme (Danner/Burke) – An off the pace type, she ships in from Ohio after faltering in conditioned $5000 claimers.

Wildwood Kantheros (Litfin/Lanerie) – Nevada’s other entry certainly got the better of the draw.  A stalking type, she’s been off since Canterbury and should be well positioned early.

Honey C (Tapp/Zuniga) – Stepping up from the bottom in Indiana and Ohio.

Kate N Abs Reward (Valenzuela/Jimenez) – While a little flat her last few starts, she’s also been running a bit higher.  She drops in here and could be prominent early.

Titfortat (Caldwell/Canchari) – Won at the bottom at Ellis but faded a bit in her last at Churchill in September.  She’ll be quick and one of the pacesetters.

Muddle (Lauer/Miranda) – Couldn’t break through at the lowest levels against home breds in Ohio, faces open today.

Lucy B (Fosdick/Pompell) – Big class drop and speed should have this one playin catch me if you can.

Leanne n Susan (Romans/Gazader) – Won at $8000 here before a summer break.  She came back w/ a lackluster performance on a class drop and had another 6 weeks off.

Alittlecomplicated (Garcia/Torres) – Reeled off a pair of wins in a row at Thistledown and has come south for a shot at Churchill where she’s 1 for 4.  Will be running late.

Big Island Blonde (Holthus/Sarvis) – Four very rough performances at Oaklawn led to a layoff after the Hot Springs meet.  This is her first back since then and she returns at the bottom.

Teacup Twirl (Walsh/Perez) – Indiana bred taking on open company where she is yet to break through.  Early speed out of post 11 is rough.

BRILLIANT BELLE (LITFIN/MOJICA JR)

I won’t sugar coat it – this one is going to be tough.  While she is certainly not outclassed here (she’s certainly worth more than the $5000), being mired in the 12 hole as alertly as she breaks will be problematic.

She absolutely cannot push the pace the way she did last our or her chances to win will against disappoint through the first quarter mile.  That said, it is very hard to get a stalking trip from outside without some help.

If the break can be spread out a bit, Rafael may be able to get her into a decent position during the first furlong and settle off the pace.  Another potential partner could be the weather.  If it’s wet enough we could see some scratches and that would shift us inward a few spots which would be very helpful/

A lot is going to depend on where we can be the first quarter mile and if she can get first jump on the early leaders and take advantage of the stretch to grind out a win.

Good luck, everybody!

Belle in Friday at Churchill

Belle will be making the Club’s first start at the home of the Kentucky Derby on Friday.  She drew post 12 in race 10 in the $5000 claiming race going 6 furlongs over the dirt,  Rafael Mojica Jr. will be in the saddle and the race is scheduled for roughly 6:10 PM our time.

It’s a big field and a rough post but she’ll see what she can do.  We’ll post the PPs when we get them and run down the race later in the week.

Good luck!!

Belle Good; September Financials

Belle came out of the race just fine.  It was a tough go for her right on the lead four wide.  While we were able to win a race – that was void of any other speed – gate to wire once, it has not been her forte over her career.  Sitting off the pace and then trying to get first jump on the early leaders would be her way and what we will try to do next out at Churchill Downs.

We will look to enter her in $5000 claiming races there.  I believe that is probably below her value but we do have to be horseless at the end of the year so we will go right at them and try and get a win or two while making sure she’s as tempting a claim as possible.

Below are the financials through the end of September.

CRC 2017 Running financials – SEPT

Not Quite What We Were Hoping For

Belle finished 7th Saturday and while the race shaped up the way we expected, she was not where we would have hoped.  She broke alertly and pressed the quick early pace 3-4 paths wide.  By the time it came to run for the money, she just had nothing left in the tank.  Ideally we would have tracked that early pace but that’s not how it played out.

November 2 there is a $5000 claiming sprint at Churchill Downs.  We’ll see how she comes out of this race and Nevada will evaluate her readiness for that race.  It’s only 13 days away but if she’s ready it’s where we need to go.

My guess is that she will need one relatively impressive race before we can get her claimed.  While I’d love to have her bought next race, it is more likely that she’ll have to prove herself and then come right back at the same level to be a solid target.

Jeff and I are both in town this weekend so I will be able to get the vet bill from last month and I should be able to have the financials through September up this weekend.

Let’s see how she comes out and we’ll take it from there.

Race Preview: Belle at Keeneland

Brilliant Belle with Rafael Mojica, Jr. aboard will try and give the Club it’s first ever Keeneland win in Friday’s 4th race (approximately 1:45 CT). The race brings Belle back on the dirt and sprinting six furlongs. She will break from post four amidst a very full field of twelve (I did not tackle the pair of ‘also eligibles’).

Like A Haint (Denzik/Hernandez) – 3-year old is a proven winner with toughness. Figs may be a bit low for this group, but certainly will be pressing the pace from the bell.

Basheba (Jurado/Morales) – Has been most successful when she can be near the lead but she hasn’t sniffed the lead since moving to Kentucky over the winter.

Wishihada (Domenosky/Geroux) – Canterbury competitor should also be attending to the early pace for the new barn (former Club trainer Tammy Domenosky). There is plenty of speed in here so it will be tough for her to shake loose.

BRILLIANT BELLE (LITFIN/MOJICA, Jr.)

Dixie Lover (Stinson/Court) – Oft-claimed traveler is very dangerous at the lower levels and should also be prominent early.

District Attorney (Riecken/Ordaz) – Hasn’t been a winner in years and will try and come off the pace. The early speed in here is encouraging for her but this track has not been knid to closing types in sprints.

La Majestique (Montana/Santana) – Big class dropper of the field drops to the lowest level of her career. She has good speed but plenty of speed inside of her. The big drop comes after being eased after nearly a year off and the pummeled in a $25,000 claimer. She cuts back to sprinting but the time off, lackluster performances and big class drop are all suspect.

Lucky Me Lucky You (Hancock/Kurtz) – Won by a late nose in her 2017 debut but has only managed a couple of 4ths since.

Ultra Arumba (Foley/Lanerie) – Splashed to a win in the basement at Ellis and closed nicely for third at Churchill last out. These are tougher here and the speed favoring track doesn’t help her chances.

Capriasca (Ewing/Borel) – First off the claim for the Ewing gang. Seems to be strategically flexible which will give Borel some options as the race unfolds.

Heavenly Daze (Hiles/Graham) – Another closer that may have a tough time here, she does get some class relief from her Churchill effort. Her most recent pilot chose another but retains the services of one who led her to last victory.

Teacup Twirl (West/Gilligan) – Indiana bred has plenty of speed but is mired on the far outside. Tough assignment to win from out here.

Belle has a morning line of 10-1. A quick look at her PPs does make that seem fair but what do we know? After her win, she stumbled out of the gate and cute her foot. The race after that she was certainly still feeling the affects when the real racing started and she faded badly. Her turf sprint wasn’t a bad effort at all considering the 7.5 furling distance. We tried her going longer and that was a failure as she was in a nice position but absolutely ran out of gas.

We know that she’s feeling fine and is healthy. She had a work that the clocker’s missed and she came out of just fine. She’s back on the dirt and she’s back to six furlongs. All points in her favor.

She’s certainly not unbeatable as there are several in here that you could consider “classier” than her. However her dirt Beyer speed figures in sprints where she was healthy match up favorably to everyone in here. While there is plenty of speed, I would expect Rafael to keep her just behind those leaders and find position heading into the lane for the run for home. If she’s good enough, she should be right in the thick of things at the end.

Good luck everyone!