08/28/2010 5:50PM

Rightly So all the way in Ballerina

Justin N. Lane
Rightly So, with Cornelio Velazquez up, goes wire to wire in the Ballerina.


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Utilizing her speed on a speed-favoring track, Rightly So became a Grade 1 winner Saturday by going gate to wire in Saturday’s Grade 1, $250,000 Ballerina Stakes by four lengths.

She was the fifth gate-to-wire winner in as many dirt races to that point on the card.

Warbling chased Rightly So all around the racetrack, finishing second, a neck in front of Jessica is Back. It was another neck to Devil by Design in fourth. They were followed in the order of finish by First Passage, Informed Decision, the 2-1 favorite, Pretty Prolific and Qualia, who was pulled up because her saddle slipped.

Breaking alertly from the rail under Cornelio Velasquez, Rightly So jumped right to the lead, running an opening quarter in 22.26 seconds while about a length clear of Warbling. She continued through a strong half-mile in 44.80 seconds, opened up a sizeable advantage after six furlongs in 1:09.29 and covered the seven furlongs in 1:22.58, which was .58 of a second faster than Discreetly Mine’s final time in the King’s Bishop. She returned $11.40 to win.

“My filly she broke good, she went to the lead easy, and she finished good too,” Velasquez said. “I had lot of horse at the quarter pole. She run a big one.”

It was the seventh victory from 11 starts for Rightly So, who was coming off a head victory over Qualia in the Grade 3 Bed O’ Roses Handicap at Belmont on July 5. Rightly So is a 4-year-old New York-bred daughter of Read the Footnotes owned by Ahmed Zayat and trained by Tony Dutrow.

“She’s capable of running fast the entire race, and she did today. She outdid herself today,” Dutrow said. “Just so impressed and so proud. She’s been an overachiever, and she once again raised her game to the very top today. I couldn’t be more thankful and more proud of her. Congratulations. Rightly So.”

Dutrow said he would talk to Zayat about possibly pointing Rightly So to the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5.

“This is something I’d be assuming Mr. Z would want to do,” Dutrow said. “Rightly So, if she likes Churchill the way she likes Saratoga - that would be a fantastic opportunity.”

There was an inquiry into the start of the Ballerina, focusing on Qualia and Pretty Prolific. Qualia and Pretty Prolific bumped at the start, causing Pretty Prolific to bobble twice. Pretty Prolific also clipped heels with Devil by Design. The stewards took no action.

Though Qualia was pulled up approaching the quarter pole, she did not appear to suffer any serious injuries. Trainer Robert Ribaudo said Qualia had to be re-shod in the paddock, and that the saddle slipped under Rajiv Maragh during the running of the race.

“She was trying to get out a little bit and the saddle slipped,” Ribaudo said. “We had to readjust a shoe in the paddock before the race. She lost a shoe coming over. So when we shod her, maybe the saddle wasn’t adjusted properly.”