05/15/2016 8:31PM

Bellamentary capitalizes on Songbird's absence, fast track in Angels Flight

Benoit & Associates
Bellamentary, ridden by Martin Garcia, scores by 2 1/4 lengths in the Angels Flight for 3-year-old fillies.

ARCADIA, Calif.- Bellamentary was overmatched when she finished fifth behind the champion Songbird in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks on a wet racetrack on April 9.

Five weeks later, Bellamentary won Sunday’s $80,035 Angels Flight Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs at Santa Anita, a race that was run on a dry track and without Songbird.

Those factors were a boost for Bellamentary along with an ideal trip under jockey Martin Garcia. Bellamentary ($8.80) disputed the pace from the outside, took the lead in early stretch, and won by 2 1/4 lengths over 7-2 Forever Darling.  Bellamentary was timed in 1:22.10.

“I had the best trip,” Garcia said. “I was on the best horse.”

Forever Darling, the winner of the Grade 2 Santa Ynez Stakes in January, finished 1 1/4 lengths in front of 18-1 Kay Kay, who was followed by Everqueen, Lucky Folie, Kiss N Scat, Fervent Femme, and Mitzi Winks.

Bellementary won her first stakes in the Angels Flight and her third race in five starts. She has earned $135,400.

Garcia rode Bellamentary for the first time in the Angels Flight, a performance that left him confident the filly can be effective around two turns later this year. In the Santa Anita Oaks at 1 1/16 miles, Bellementary was beaten 10 lengths by Songbird, who is unbeaten in seven races and was the champion 2-year-old filly of 2015.

“I don’t see why not,” Garcia said of longer distances. “It’s hard to go seven-eighths [near the lead] and keep going like she did.”

Songbird was not considered for the Angels Flight field. She was sidelined with illness after the Santa Anita Oaks and recently resumed training for a summertime campaign.

Bellementary races for Little Red Feather Racing and RM Racing. Trained by Phil D’Amato, Bellamentary is by Bellamy Road and was purchased for $175,000 at the Ocala Breeders’ sale of 2-year-olds in-training in April 2015.

D’Amato said a fast track on Sunday was a boost for Bellamentary.

“I think she was more comfortable on this track,” D’Amato said. “I’d like to stretch her out. She’s still figuring this out.”