06/24/2017 6:24PM

Super Marina outlasts Bellavais in Wild Applause

Joe Labozzetta
Super Marina paid $24.20 in winning the Wild Applause Stakes at Belmont on Saturday.

The $100,000 Wild Applause Stakes at Belmont scratched down from six runners to four and lost its favorite and probable front-runner when it was moved from the turf to the main track Saturday. In the end, the longest shot in the race, Super Marina, earned a fair-and-square victory by outgaming Bellavais by a neck after a harf-fought stretch battle.

Favoritism in the Wild Applause, a mile race for 3-year-old fillies, somewhat surprisingly went to Rum Go, who was sent off at even money. She was finished early and wound up last, beaten 42 lengths. Bellavais, who would have been among the favorites on turf, was sent off as the second choice at 6-5.
Bellavais had never raced on the lead in her six prior starts, but the Wild Applause lacked pace and she went right to the front under jockey John Velazquez, setting fractions of 24.53, 48.08, and 1:12.38.

Super Marina, with Manny Franco aboard, moved up between horses on the far turn, engaged Bellavais from the outside in upper stretch, and put a head in front nearing the furlong pole. The two battled to the wire, with neither horse giving an inch in an exciting finish.

Super Marina paid $24.20. The second-longest price in the field was Talaaqy, who at 7-2  finished third, beaten 11 3/4 lengths. Super Marina was timed over a track that had been upgraded to fast during the card in 1:36.78.

A daughter of Warrior's Reward, Super Marina is owned by the R A Hill Stable and is trained by George Weaver. She won a maiden race at the Meadowlands in her fourth start last fall, then took two optional-claiming races at Tampa Bay Downs over the winter.

According to Weaver's assistant, Blair Golen, Siper Marina always tries hard in her races.

"We just told Manny to ride her like she's on the turf: keep her all covered up, save her, and let her run," Golden said. "She just gutted it out at the end, like she does every time she runs."

The Wild Applause was her first stakes victory and her first win on dirt in three attempts. In her three most recent starts, all on grass, she had finished third in the Northbound Pride at Canterbury Park, fifth in the Memories of Silver at Aqueduct, and fifth in the Grade 3 Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay.

Super Marina, who sold for $17,000 at the 2015 Keeneland September sale, is now 4 for 11 with earnings of $131,902.

Rubilinda, who would have been favored in the Wild Applause, and Lull, who may have had the most natural speed in the lineup, were both scratched.