05/28/2016 9:19PM

Avanti Bello noses out Soi Phet in Tiznow Stakes

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Benoit & Associates
Rafael Bejarano, aboard Avanti Bello for the first time, narrowly prevails in the Tiznow.

ARCADIA, Calif.- Avanti Bello can be a tricky ride for a jockey. The key to success is for a rider to stay active and not overdo it the effort.

“He’s a horse that likes to be ridden and not beaten up,” said Leandro Mora, trainer Doug O’Neill’s top assistant.

Rafael Bejarano rode Avanti Bello for the first time in Saturday’s $150,690 Tiznow Stakes and found the ideal balance in his technique to guide the 4-year-old colt to a nose win in the one-mile race for California-breds.

Avanti Bello stalked pacesetter Songforjohnmichael to the turn, took the lead before the stretch, and was fully extended to earn the win over Soi Phet. Avanti Bello ($28.80) was timed in 1:35.30.

Bejarano said he had the ideal trip on Avanti Bello. He wanted to race behind Songforjohnmichael and Boozer early and maintain a close position.

“I tried to let the other two horses go,” Bejarano said. “I found my position. I waited as long as I could.”

Avanti Bello led by 1 1/2 lengths with a furlong remaining, but the result was still in doubt.

“I knew [Soi Phet] was coming at the end,” Bejarano said. “I had a little horse in the stretch. The other horse was strong.”

Soi Phet, the winner of two stakes at Los Alamitos in 2014, finished 4 1/4 lengths in front of Boozer, who was followed by Songforjohnmichael, Rocko’s Wheel, Howdy, and Indygo Holiday.

Boozer won the Bertrando Stakes at Los Alamitos on April 16. Soi Phet and Avanti Bello were second and third in the Bertrando.

Avanti Bello, a colt by Include, has won 4 of 13 starts and earned $233,743. The Tiznow was Avanti Bello’s first stakes win in his fourth stakes appearance. Last September, Avanti Bello was third in the E.B. Johnston Stakes for California-breds at Los Alamitos.

The colt is owned by a partnership that includes Steven Keh, Pablo Suarez, and Wonderland Racing Stables.