08/05/2017 7:57PM

Bellavais cashes in on good placing in Drumtop Stakes


Bellavais took advantage of excellent placing in a stalking trip and drew off to win the $75,000 Drumtop Stakes on Saturday at Suffolk Downs.

The 3-year-old Tapit filly was roused out of the gate by jockey Michael Luzzi and entered the first turn three wide and in third place, as favorite Dynatail held the lead from the rail, followed closely by Cool. Bellavais moved up through the turn and became the primary challenger to Dynatail through the opening quarter.

Dynatail kept her foe at bay across the backstretch, and nursed a lead of about a length for most of the straightaway.

Bellavais drew even with Dynatail as they entered the final turn and advanced past her on the outside. Dynatail retreated into the pack after being passed, and Bellavais took a growing lead into the top of the stretch. Luzzi kept pushing his mount through the straightaway to fend off the late arrival of longshot Notapradaprice on the outside, but he wrapped her up within the final sixteenth when the race was well in hand.

Bellavais crossed the finish with open lengths ahead of Notapradaprice, while Cool ran an even, ground-saving trip to finish well behind the runner-up.

Bellavais completed the roughly one-mile turf race in 1.42.82. She paid $6.80 to win as the second choice in the stakes race for sophomore fillies that had never won a graded stakes race.

The Drumtop was the filly’s third win in eight career starts, and her second stakes victory, following up on the Ginger Brew Stakes at Gulfstream Park in January.

Bellavais races as a homebred for Phillips Racing Partnership, consisting of Darby Dan Farm owner John W. Phillips and sisters Dianne Albrecht and Debbie Bower. She is trained by Jimmy Toner.