01/10/2008 12:00AM

Lady Belsara adds to her appeal


It was too bad Lady Belsara got beat a whisker in her last race, because she ran too good to lose.

Overcoming a slow start from the rail in the Dec. 1 Holiday Inaugural at Turfway Park, Lady Belsara came flying in the final furlong, only to miss catching Fast Deal in a tight photo.

"She stood in the gate too long, got a little rambunctious, and got away a little bad," said Matt Kintz, who trains Lady Belsara for the At the Moment Stables. "But she did show a new dimension. She's so fast, and now she's shown us she can close."

Off that terrific effort, Lady Belsara, a 5-year-old mare by Boundary, looks like the horse to beat Saturday in a field of 11 fillies and mares in the $50,000 Wishing Well Stakes at Turfway. Veteran jockey Bill Troilo will be back aboard Lady Belsara when she breaks from post 10 in the six-furlong Wishing Well.

Lady Belsara already is a graded-stakes winner, having captured the Grade 3 Chicago Breeders' Cup in June over Polytrack at Arlington Park. She is the most accomplished of some 25 horses, including 2-year-olds, currently trained by Kintz, a 37-year-old Ohio native who worked at major breeding farms such as Taylor Made and Gainesway before turning to training.

Besides Lady Belsara, the Wishing Well drew several others in good form. Five are coming off victories, including Byenne, winner of a minor turf stakes at Hawthorne; V.I.P. Princess, winner of an allowance prep on Dec. 20; and Daring Julie, winner of a Dec. 5 allowance.

But perhaps the main challenger will be a filly who, like Lady Belsara, was narrowly beaten in her last race at Turfway. Miss A. Bomb, a two-time stakes winner who captured the Gowell at Turfway in December 2006, comes off a head defeat to V.I.P. Princess three weeks ago. Trainer Grant Hofmans has decided to once again equip Miss A. Bomb with blinkers for the Wishing Well, having done so earlier in the filly's career.

The Wishing Well is a misnamed race. Inaugurated in 1983, the race was supposed to be named for Wishing Ring, a horse who returned $1,885.50 for a $2 win bet in 1912 at the old Latonia Racecourse. A printer's error led to the switch.

The 2007 winner of the Wishing Well was Mary Delaney, ridden by Julien Leparoux.