02/26/2017 8:03PM

Avanti Bello wins Tiznow Stakes for second time

Benoit & Associates
Flavien Prat guides Avanti Bello to a 1 3/4-length win in the Tiznow for California-breds.

ARCADIA, Calif. - The Tiznow Stakes is becoming an annual payday for Avanti Bello.

Avanti Bello won the $150,000 Tiznow at Santa Anita last May and won the same race, for a $100,690 purse, on Sunday. Avanti Bello won the 2016 race by a nose. There was no late suspense on Sunday.

Ridden by leading rider Flavien Prat, Avanti Bello won the one-mile race for California-breds by 1 3/4 lengths in 1:35.95.

“Cal-breds and a mile is just him,” said Steve Rothblum, assistant to trainer Doug O’Neill. “Going farther is a stretch for him.”

Avanti Bello ($8) was always near the front. Prat had Avanti Bello in a stalking position behind pacesetter Acceptance through early fractions of 24.12 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 47.38 for a half-mile. Avanti Bello took the lead in early stretch and led by a length with a furlong remaining.

“I thought there would be more pace in front of him,” Rothblum said. “Flavien rode him to a T. It was perfect.”

Grazen Sky closed from fifth in the final furlong to finish second, a half-length in front of Solid Wager, the 5-2 favorite. Acceptance faded to finish fourth, followed by Magic Mark, Patriots Rule, and Indygo Holiday.

O’Neill did not attend the race. He was in Qatar on Saturday where the stable’s Royal Albert Hall finished 12th in the $1 million Emir’s Trophy.

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Avanti Bello, a 5-year-old horse by Include, races for a partnership that includes Steven Keh, Pablo Suarez, and Wonderland Racing Stable. Avanti Bello has won 6 of 23 starts and earned $413,416.

The win ended a three-race losing streak that included a fifth behind California Chrome in the Los Alamitos Winter Challenge in December and a last-place finish in a field of seven in the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes at on Feb. 4.