12/27/2015 5:02PM

Belvoir Bay gives Prat first win since September in Blue Norther

Benoit & Associates
Belvoir Bay romps by 7 1/4 lengths under Flavien Prat in the Blue Norther.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Belvoir Bay won her California debut in Sunday’s $78,700 Blue Norther Stakes for 2-year-old fillies on turf at Santa Anita, providing jockey Flavien Prat with his first win since September.

Belvoir Bay won by 7 1/4 lengths under the 23-year-old Prat, who returned to riding on Saturday after missing more than three months because of a back injury sustained at Los Alamitos.

Belvoir Bay ($12.20) was well-placed throughout the Blue Norther. She stalked pacesetter Sweet Queen to the final turn before taking the lead. Belvoir Bay quickly pulled away from the other eight fillies in early stretch. She was timed in 1:36.15.

Prat worked Belvoir Bay in the mud at Santa Anita on Dec. 23, going five furlongs in 1:04.

“I worked her a few days ago and even if the work was not fast, I had a good feeling,” he said. “She repeated that.”

Prat, who was among the leading riders on the circuit at the time of his injury, resumed working horses in early December.

“I’m in good shape,” Prat said. “I’m not sore or anything.”

Family Meeting, the 7-5 favorite and the winner of the Grade 3 Jimmy Durante Stakes at Del Mar on Nov. 28, closed from last of nine to finish second for Glen Hill Farm and trainer Tom Proctor.

“She ran her race,” said Aimee Dollase, Proctor’s assistant. “It looks like we got outrun by a decent mare.”

Sweet Queen, a 12-1 shot, finished third, followed by Nikki’s Fine Time, Exactamente, Mirage, Skye Diamonds, Coniah, and Reckless Charm.

Belvoir Bay, a British-bred filly by the Acclamation sire Equiano, has won 3 of 7 starts and earned $88,831. Belvoir Bay won two minor races in England in June and July for trainer Richard Hannon. She was fourth in the Group 3 Prestige Stakes at Goodwood in late August in her final start in that country.

Owned by the Team Valor International partnership and Gary Barber, Belvoir Bay was ninth of 11 in the Chelsey Flower Stakes at a mile on turf at Belmont Park on Oct. 31 in her American debut when trained by Bill Mott. She joined trainer Peter Miller’s stable in November.

“I’d only trained her on dirt and she trained okay, average, nothing that would lead to believe she could do that,” Miller said. “She had not shown that ability.

“For her to run like that was unexpected. I thought she was a work or two short.”

Miller indicated that Belvoir Bay will remain in stakes on turf.