07/12/2014 6:06PM

Belle Gallantey upsets Princess of Sylmar in Delaware Handicap

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Saquan Stimpson/Hoofprintsinc.com
Jose Ortiz celebrates after Belle Gallantey posted an upset win in the Delaware Handicap.

STANTON, Del. - Princess of Sylmar had to settle for second as the 1-5 favorite in Saturday's Grade 1, $750,000 Delaware Handicap as Belle Gallantey went to the lead, set a slow pace over a glib track, and then came home quickly to complete a Cinderella victory for trainer Rudy Rodriguez.

Belle Gallantey was on the muscle in the paddock prior to the 1 1/4-mile Del Cap and Rudy Rodriguez asked a pony boy to help him saddle. When the gate for the Del Cap opened, Jose Ortiz made sure he made the lead with Belle Gallantey - a $35,000 claim six starts ago - and set comfortable spilts of 24.55, 49.51, and 1:13.63.

"She relaxed real good for me to the three-eighths pole," Ortiz said. "She had her ears up and was going very easy."

Belle Gallantey turned back a bid from Flashy American at the quarter pole, with Princess of Sylmar in close proximity, and then drew off again to win by 2 3/4 lengths.

The mile split was 1:37.44 and the final time was 2:01.15, meaning the split from six furlongs to a mile was 23.81 and the final quarter went in 23.71.

Princess of Sylmar was relaxed racing off the early pace. Jockey Javier Castellano moved her up between horses nearing the backstretch and she responded when he asked her approaching the far turn. When Flashy American challenged Belle Gallantey coming to the quarter pole Princess of Sylmar could not quite keep up with them. Castellano guided her to the outside for the stretch run and she was up to gain the place by a half-length outside Flashy American late.

"I was a bit concerned that we might not get a true pace today," said Todd Pletcher, the trainer of Princess of Sylmar. "The track here was fast today and the fractions, I guess they were reasonable. I really don't have any excuses."

Belle Gallantey paid $15.60 to win as the second choice in the six-horse field. The $1 exacta with Belle Gallantey and Princess of Sylmar returned $19.60.

Rodriguez claimed Belle Gallantey for $35,000 out of a sprint at Aqueduct last December. He stretched her out in distance and she won a first-level allowance, a $12,500 starter, and a second-level optional claimer. Rodriguez tried her in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps on Belmont Stakes Day and she finished fifth, beaten 1 3/4 lengths, by Close Hatches. Princess of Sylmar was second in the Phipps, beaten a head.

"When the overnight came out  it looked like we were the speed," Rodriguez said. "She just keeps getting better and better."

The win was the eighth from 41 career starts for Belle Gallantey, a 5-year-old. The $450,000 she earned Saturday more than doubled her career earnings to $866,270. The win was the second Grade 1 for Rodriguez, who in April won the Carter Handicap with Dads Caps.

In the winner's circle after the race, Michael Caruso, a part-owner, said the plan prior to the race was to send Belle Gallantey to Fair Hill and give her a rest. After a second, he hedged a little. "But let's wait and see what Rudy says," he offered with a laugh.

* The all-sources handle on the Delaware Handicap card was $4.02 million, which pleased track officials. The all-time Delaware Handicap Day handle was $4.9 million set in 2007.

russell More than 1 year ago
You better believe this mare aint going to Fair Hill. She in a career form cycle and to put her on the bench would be dumb. That said how does a horse that was claimed multiple times suddenly wake up for Rudy?
Zack More than 1 year ago
Now wait a minute. They always say Cal Gr 1 horses are basically racing against claimers & yet most of the Cal horses are rated in the top ten world list and now we have a 5 time Grade1 horse like Princess of Sylmar not able to win against a $35,000 claimer? Now where are The Dude bashers?
jon g More than 1 year ago
3-1 DD for 108$ was a very square price. 5/2-6/1. Bailed me out
Robert Clayton More than 1 year ago
I like when they spout these handle figures......There was around 800k bet on POS between the place and show holes.....750k of which was a minus pool....Take the loss of the minus and pool and the 750k itself and your handle was actually a little over 3 million for the day
michael More than 1 year ago
She's a very small filly?? Since when? She seems to have won a lot of races, but I never thought of her in the top echelon of great fillies. I bought the DRF for 8 bucks yesterday and was dismayed to have bought an advertisement on the front page, The Front Page. Really, I can't get better information than an ad for the DRF site.???
Ceil Rock More than 1 year ago
I didn't think much of JC's ride, but she's a very small filly and had to give the winner 8 lbs. Might have taken its toll at 1-1/4 mi distance.
John Stevelberg More than 1 year ago
The "rule of 12" strikes again !
TonyRegalbuto More than 1 year ago
If you all watched the race, you would know why she lost the race. Geez, she stalked a slow pace, got sandwiched btw horses down the backside, which left Castellano no other options but to wait. He made his move btw horses but just like the race caller called, he had to alter his course because the lead horse drifted out, and Castellano was caught btw a rock and a hard place having to go three wide. By that time the lead horse kicked away. Geez, this is not rocket science folks. Wow!
Barry Taylor More than 1 year ago
Moral of the story......bad ride.
mike More than 1 year ago
Tony.....exactly! Some that post here should wear a t shirt with the words,"I'm a slow learner".
nick More than 1 year ago
If you watched the race, Tony, you would see that Princess never checked or steadied when she was between horses. When she moved in the third quarter the other horses moved away from her. At the end of the backstretch they were three across, and if Princess had pace at that point she could have continued forward, but then the other two pulled away. And down the lane when she swung clear, she had no kick, she barely got up for second.
Zack More than 1 year ago
A Grade 1 horse should be able to over come that minor issue very easily, especially going 1-1/4 Mile. Everything else is an excuse. She could not beat a $35,000 claimer at her fav. distance.
mike More than 1 year ago
Have you ever heard of an off day Zack? Have you ever experienced one of those? Sure I thought she would win and I hate the trainer,fact is she didn't have the best post and had trouble.
nick More than 1 year ago
Wait, what, now someone is trying to say in a 6 horse race at 1&1/4 miles she had a bad post? Get real.
mike More than 1 year ago
You get real,pal!
Gary Peacock More than 1 year ago
I recommend bookmarking the Jockey Club site, America's Best Racing. Dan Tordjman gave this result out earlier in the week on the 'How To Make Money With $20" feature. He had the exacta boxed for $10, while pointing out in her first stakes try in the Ogden Phipps, "Belle" .... a pace horse, was no where near the pace, yet closed well at a mile and a sixteenth. The stretch-out in distance on yesterday's speed favoring track, made this pace horse a wise use. You get it now, Anonymous?
michael More than 1 year ago
Kenny Peck, the BEST handicappper in the Racing form, bar non, also had the winner and the exacta cold. Thanks Kenny.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Somebody said below that "cheap claiming races may be fixed, but no chance on grade 1 big races". Ok. Which of the races has more money at stake in the wager pools? Yea, now you get it huh. smh.
Big Rob stud More than 1 year ago
They track pays out the same $$ regardless of who wins. Why can't u understand this?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thats the ruse. If i gave you $ 1 million, and said : now you be sure and give 80% of this money back to the public. Then i went away and didnt have a way to verify you did it. What would you do?
Joe Rockhold More than 1 year ago
It's all verified. They're called the racing commissions and verify those very things.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Learn this lesson of life: people and companies will cheat if they are sure no one can catch them. And that applies to horse racing track owners, more so than any other business.
John Stevelberg More than 1 year ago
If u r going to constantly complain (justified or not) you might consider another hobby !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is 'merica. I speak my mind 24/7.
John Stevelberg More than 1 year ago
So r u saying that "complaining" is your hobby ?
Chris Lowe More than 1 year ago
Judging by your tin foiled covered brain, the speech should always be short. BTW, "Anonymous", putting your real name would at least slightly increase your credibility.