Updated on 10/03/2011 6:52PM

Belmont Park: Havre de Grace glides to lengthy win in Beldame

Michael Amoruso
Havre de Grace crosses the line an easy winner of the Beldame.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Trainer Larry Jones left no doubt. Havre de Grace is headed to the Breeders’ Cup Classic following her romp in the mud in the Grade 1, $350,000 Beldame Invitational on Saturday at Belmont Park.

“I am sure we will,” said Jones when asked about the Classic. “Uncle Mo [winner of the Kelso Handicap earlier on the card[ was very impressive 30 minutes ago. I’m sure he’s going to go that way and that will make it interesting. But as of right now, I’ll say the Classic, that’s where she’ll wind up.”

Jones’s statement caught owner Rick Porter off guard.

“Did he really?” was Porter’s reaction when told Jones had penciled Havre de Grace into the Classic. “He and I have to talk that over. I think there’s a good chance.”

The more he talked, the more Porter seemed to warm to the idea. He discussed hedging the bet, entering Havre de Grace in both the Classic and the Ladies’ Classic.

“I really think we’ll enter both races,” Porter said.

But he left the door wide open for a run in the Classic.

“If he says we’re going to the Classic, he’ll probably be able to talk me into it,” Porter said of Jones. “When he puts that cowboy hat on, he’s pretty persuasive.”

Havre de Grace certainly argued her cause in the Beldame, winning by 8 1/4 lengths. Royal Delta was a distant second with Satans Quick Chick third.

It was her second straight stirring win, following a victory over males in the Woodward at Saratoga. Havre de Grace is 5-1-0 in 6 starts this year since transferring to the Jones barn.

“She and I are still learning each other,” Jones said. “We’ve got her fit now, so we don’t have to be putting those electrifying works in her. Now she’s ready and we just have to keep her where we have her.”

And that is a very special place.
“This is the closest thing I’ve ever witnessed to the perfect racehorse,” Jones said. “Probably Secretariat had to be, but I didn’t see him until after he was retired. If she has a flaw, anywhere, anyhow, I can’t find it.”

No weakness was evident in the Beldame as jockey Ramon Dominguez wrapped up on the 4-year-old in midstretch.

The race unfolded with Life At Ten firing out to the lead as expected with the addition of blinkers. Royal Delta and jockey Jose Lezcano took a run at the leader down the backstretch, only to be turned back.

Havre de Grace was nicely rated in third, awaiting the signal from Dominguez that came midway on the turn.

From there, Havre de Grace steadily widened her margin.

The time was 1:49.39 for the 1 1/8 miles as Havre de Grace paid $2.90 to win.