10/13/2012 7:20PM

Santa Anita: Bella Viaggia rallies to take her division of Cal Cup Distaff


ARCADIA, Calif. - Minutes before Bella Viaggia won her stakes debut in the second division of Saturday's $100,000 California Cup Distaff at Santa Anita, trainer Mike Puype sensed she could be difficult to beat.

"She looked spectacular in the paddock," he said. "She looked ready to win. Her weight is unbelievable. She looks good."

Bella Viaggia, ridden by Joe Talamo, rallied on the rail through the stretch to win the Cal Cup Distaff by two lengths over Missdealornodeal. Cayanna, claimed for $32,000 in her last start on Oct. 4, finished third in the field of nine California-bred fillies and mares.

Sugarinthemorning, the 6-5 favorite, could finish only seventh after contending for the lead to the middle of the stretch.

Bella Viaggia ($21.40) ran about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course in 1:12.02.

"We had a perfect trip," Talamo said. "Mike said to keep her third or fourth early."

Puype trains Bella Viaggia for SLO Racing Stable, a partnership based in the central California town of San Luis Obispo.

A 3-year-old by Good Journey, Bella Viaggia was second in her debut at Betfair Hollywood Park in May, but has won her last three starts, including a maiden race and an optional claimer at Del Mar in August. Bella Viaggia has earned $155,000.