10/01/2011 2:58PM

Belmont Park: Stacelita flashes class in Flower Bowl

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Tom Keyser
Stacelita wins the Grade 1 Flower Bowl with authority under jockey Ramon Dominguez.

ELMONT, N.Y. – It was all class on the grass in the $500,000 Flower Bowl Invitational, as Stacelita dispatched five rivals by two decisive lengths despite racing widest around both turns.

Stacelita ($3), who was coming off a ground-saving win in the Beverly D. in her second U.S. start, was five wide into the clubhouse turn beneath Ramon Dominguez as Dynaslew led through a first quarter-mile in 26.09 seconds, and a half-mile referred to by track announcer Tom Durkin as a “sleep-inducing” 53.48 seconds.

Stacelita moved steadily closer after a mile in 1:46.26, caught Dynaslew and quickly drew clear coming to mid-stretch, and remained clear from 42-1 shot Distorted Legacy under a mild drive. She ran the 1 1/4 miles in 2:10.39 over a waterlogged inner turf course that was labeled yielding.

“I wasn’t happy about being wide, but I was very pleased with the way she was handling herself,” said Dominguez. “When she saw the light, she wanted to run. She felt like she was playing with those fillies. Once she got to the backside and I tucked behind [Gitchee Goomie], I felt like she would have a pretty good kick, and she did.”

In notching the fifth Group/Grade 1 victory of her career, Stacelita earned an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf on Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs.

“Getting floated wide on the first turn, I was a little worried,” said winning trainer Chad Brown. “But when you have Ramon riding, it eases your mind a little bit, because he finds a way to work out a trip under adverse circumstances. I was feeling pretty good down the backside when I saw how much horse he had, and when he ranged up to the leaders in hand, obviously I felt good. She is a remarkable horse and she’s had an outstanding career to this point. Most likely, we will stay here until the week of the Breeders’ Cup and do all her training here.”

Distorted Legacy, who has lost all seven of her career starts on turf – including a restricted nonwinners-of-two claimer earlier this year – finished a length and three-quarters clear of Dynaslew, who held third by 1 1/4 lengths over Emerald Beech.

The order of finish was completed by Gitchee Goomie and Deluxe, who was the 7-2 second choice.

The boggy course condition prompted the scratches of Aruna and Senada.