12/10/2011 4:58PM

Laurel: Baltimore Belle takes third stakes of season in Geisha

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Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Baltimore Belle, a stakes winner on turf in her previous start, scores on the dirt under jockey Julian Pimentel in the Geisha for Maryland-bred fillies and mares.

Baltimore Belle proved just as proficient on the main track as she was in her previous start on turf to capture her second straight stakes and third added-money event of the season  in Saturday’s $75,000 Geisha for Maryland-bred fillies and mares at Laurel Park.

Making her first start since upsetting the Lady Baltimore at 8-1 over a yielding turf course on Oct. 22, Baltimore Belle ($8) sat just off a contested, but tepid pace of 48.36 seconds and 1:13.39 set by Love's Blush and Access to Charlie. It turned into a two-horse sretch battle as Baltimore Belle and 3-2 favorite Love’s Blush were on even terms inside the eighth pole until Baltimore Belle finally shook loose late under Julian Pimentel to prevail by 1 1/4 lengths while completing the one-turn mile in 1:37.72.

In addition to the Lady Baltimore, Baltimore Belle took the off-the-turf Dahlia in April and is now 7 for 22 overall, with four wins on dirt and three on the turf for her owner, R. Larry Johnson.

“She likes to run,” said Tana Aubrey-Verge, trainer Mike Trombetta’s Laurel-based assistant. “She is so versatile. We can do a lot with her. I’d like to try her on the synthetic surface next year.”

“She’s really a nice filly,” said Pimentel, who has been aboard Baltimore Belle, a daughter of Bowman’s Band, seven times in nine starts this year. “I really see a lot of improvement. She was very eager and it was just a matter of finding a way out because I had a ton of horse the whole way around.”

The win was the 50th of the Laurel Park fall meet for Pimentel, who is tied with Sheldon Russell atop the rider standings with one week remaining.

Love’s Blush, who defeated Baltimore Belle by 3 1/2 lengths the last time they met in the Maryland Million Ladies on Oct. 1, was easily second best, four lengths in front of Access to Charlie, one of the early pacesetters.