06/21/2010 12:00AM

Bella Notte survives inquiry at Canterbury


Bella Notte, ridden by Derek Bell, had to survive a long stewards' inquiry to win the $50,000 Princess Elaine Stakes for fillies and mares on Sunday at Canterbury Park.

Bella Notte ($6) took a quick two-length lead through early fractions of 22.96 and 46.96 in the 1 1/16-mile turf race. Tickleyourfancy came up to Bella Notte's outside in midstretch, and Bella Notte appeared to drift out a bit. Bella Notte held on to win by a half-length. Defending Princess Elaine champion Minnesota Mafia finished third, beaten 1 1/2 lengths by the winner.

"I thought I was clear the whole time," said Bell, "but I was worried the stewards might take me down when they looked at it so long."

Trained by Mac Robertson, the 6-year-old Bella Notte set a stakes record of 1:41.87 for the 1 1/16 miles on turf. The victory was her first on turf and eighth of her career.

Five of the six entrants in the Princess Elaine were trained by Gary Scherer or Robertson. Runner-up Tickleyourfancy, trained by Francisco Bravo, was the only entrant not trained by either of them

* In Sunday's other Thoroughbred stakes, Haraldo upset the $35,000 Shot of Gold Stakes under Eddie Martin Jr.

Favored Humble Smarty, shipping in from Prairie Meadows, broke on the lead under Alex Birzer, but was pressed hard by the lone filly in the field of seven 3-year-olds and up, Miranda Diane. The pair set very fast fractions through the first half-mile of the six-furlong race of 21.79 and 44.13. Haraldo took advantage of the tired Humble Smarty in deep stretch to rally and win by a half-length. Haraldo paid $15.20.

Martin said that the speed duel between Humble Smarty and Miranda Diane "set it up for me."

Humble Smarty hung on for second. Bizet ran third. The time of 1:09.14 set a stakes record.

* Seis It Fast won the $24,000 Minnesota Stallion Breeders' Quarter Horse Futurity by three lengths for trainer Ed Ross Hardy. Seis It Fast went off as the heavy favorite, paying to $2.80 to win. The final time was 18.00 for the 350-yard event.