11/10/2017 11:46AM

Barboza holds aces in allowance sprint

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Lauren King/Coglianese Photos
Rich Mommy wins an allowance race in June.

It is tough to separate the Victor Barboza Jr.-trained 3-year-old fillies Rich Mommy and Nikki Bella in a $62,500 optional-claiming race that headlines Sunday’s 11-race card at Gulfstream Park West. The six-furlong dash for fillies and mares has second-level allowance conditions and also is open to horses who have not raced since May 12.

If Emisael Jaramillo is correct, Rich Mommy is the one to beat. He has been the regular rider of both fillies and will be aboard Rich Mommy when she breaks from the rail in the six-horse field. Edgard Zayas picks up the mount on Nikki Bella, who drew post 2.

Rich Mommy is coming off a four-length romp in the slop in a $16,000 optional-claiming race with first-level allowance conditions Sept. 22 at Gulfstream Park. Bred in Kentucky, Rich Mommy has been a gem of consistency. Beginning with a runner-up finish in her debut in a $25,000 maiden-claiming race at Gulfstream in January, she has won three times and finished in the top three in seven of her eight starts.

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Similar to her stablemate, Rich Mommy has good speed and will need to use it while breaking from the inside post.

Nikki Bella was an easy winner of her first two starts and may have bounced when she finished third at 3-10 odds in a similar race Sept. 29. She was coming off a lengthy layoff when she won a $16,000 optional-claiming race by 3 1/4 lengths Aug. 31. It also is possible that she didn’t care for the sloppy conditions in her last start.

In her only other race, Nikki Bella romped by 9 1/2 lengths in a $50,000 maiden-claiming race at Gulfstream Park West last November.

KEY CONTENDERS

Nikki Bella, by Bellamy Road
Last 3 Beyers: 67-82-66

◗ Despite Jaramillo abandoning her to ride Rich Mommy, she looks like the one to beat. She was impressive in winning her comeback race, and her blowout debut win showed that she can handle the surface. Following her loss as the heavy chalk last out, she came back to work a sharp five furlongs Oct. 28.

Rich Mommy, by Algorithms
Last 3 Beyers: 82-72-78

◗ It is hard to knock her consistency, and the only time she wasn’t part of the trifecta, she may have been stretching the limits of her stamina by going seven furlongs.

Bones, by Kantharos
Last 3 Beyers: 67-74-67

◗ The Ralph Nicks-trained Florida-bred will be making her first start since winning a $75,000 optional-claiming race with first-level allowance conditions April 6 at Gulfstream.

◗ She won her debut, so she can fire fresh, and in her only loss in three starts, she finished third to Ghalia, who won the $200,000 Sunland Oaks in her next start for trainer Todd Pletcher.