Updated on 09/17/2011 9:55AM

'Belle' acts like a lady this time

Lenny Vangilder
Belle of Perintown ($22.40) wins by 8 1/4 lengths in the $150,000 Silverbulletday at Fair Grounds on Saturday.

NEW ORLEANS - Belle of Perintown minded her manners in the starting gate this time, but she treated her opponents in the Silverbulletday Stakes quite rudely. Belle of Perintown ($22.40) left the opposition in the dust with a quick move turning for home, running alone through the stretch for an 8 1/4-length win in the Grade 2, $150,000 at Fair Grounds.

Belle of Perintown won the Pocahontas Stakes at Churchill Downs last fall and seemed like a contender last month in the Tiffany Lass Stakes, her first start of the year. But Belle of Perintown reared up and tipped over backward in the starting gate, and when the doors were sprung she was in no frame of mind for racing. Trainer Eddie Kenneally said Calvin Borel let Belle of Perintown go at her own pace because she felt uncoordinated after her mishap, and Belle of Perintown finished last by 30 lengths.

Belle of Perintown came back scraped and bruised, but not seriously injured, and she schooled in the gate without incident preparing for the Silverbulletday. "I was just concerned with her mental state after the last race," Kenneally said.

But Belle of Perintown was quiet in the gate this time and broke fourth, going up to race in second behind the quick pace of Rebridled Dreams, who ran a quarter-mile in 23.41 seconds and a half in 46.92. Belle of Perintown was on her flank without being asked, and when Borel let her out a notch she took off. As she switched leads and leveled off for her stretch run, Belle of Perintown found a gear none of her opponents had and she quickly ran away from them. Borel kept his filly to her task, and she completed 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.48.

Afternoon Dreams ran late to finish second, 1 1/2 lengths in front of her stablemate, Rebridled Dreams. Favored Allspice came under a drive on the far turn and checked in a dull fifth.

The win, her first at two turns, made Belle of Perintown a major contender for the Fair Grounds Oaks on March 8. "It think she has room to get better and improve," Borel said.