09/18/2010 4:17PM

Lovely Daniella edges Judge Margaret to repeat in Jack Betta Be Rite

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Stephanie Van Minos/Tom Cooley
Lovely Daniella, under Phil Teator, barely overtakes Judge Margaret to win the Jack Betta Be Rite for the second time.

Lovely Daniella overcame a 13 1/2-length deficit in the final 2 1/2 furlongs and survived getting hit in the face with a jockey's whip in deep stretch to defend her title in Saturday’s $50,000 Jack Betta Be Rite Handicap at Finger Lakes.

The 5-year-old Lovely Daniella ($10.40) looked like she might be in trouble when pacesetter Gold for the Queen opened up by 13 lengths through a half-mile in 46.66 seconds and found herself 13 1/2 lengths behind after six furlongs in 1:12.01. Judge Margaret, a 9-1 longshot making her first start off a $10,000 claim on Sept. 2, got first run on tiring pacesetter Gold for the Queen and took a two-length lead with a furlong remaining in  the 1 1/16-mile race for New York-bred fillies and mares.

Phil Teator, who came in from Presque Isle Downs to ride Lovely Daniella for the second time, and Jeremiah Flores, on Judge Margaret, were in close quarters inside the sixteenth pole when Flores's whip hit Lovely Daniella across the face. She reacted by bumping into Judge Margaret right before the wire, but got her head in front at the finish, completing the distance in 1:45.68.

Flores lodged an objection for interference and the stewards posted the inquiry sign, but the officials were looking at Flores's whip striking Lovely Daniella and left the order of finish unchanged.

Trained by Michael Ferraro, Lovely Daniella snapped a five-race losing streak that dated back to last year’s running of this stakes, named after the female horse who won seven stakes and more than $350,000 in her career. It was Lovely Daniella's ninth win in 19 starts overall.

Judge Margaret finished second, four lengths in front of Willy’s Wicked Way. Gold for the Queen, the 3-5 favorite, stopped badly in deep stretch and finished fifth of six.