Photo: Hollywood Park
Trainer Simon Callaghan and jockey Joel Rosario made it consecutive wins in
the $250,000 Gamely Stakes Monday at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Twelve months after Dubawi Heights won the Spring/Summer meet’s first Grade
I, Callaghan and Rosario repeated with Belle Royale, who finished with a
flourish to defeat Quiet Oasis, Capital Plan and five others.
The 2-1 second choice in her graded debut, the 4-year-old Irish bred ran the
1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:47.84. Owned by Michael Tabor, the daughter of former
Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Val Royal and the Brief Truce mare Kahyasi Moll won
for the 10th time in 26 starts.
Now 2-for-2 in the United States – she won the American Beauty April 7 at
Santa Anita – Belle Royale has earned $358,231.
Callaghan became the first trainer to win the Gamely in consecutive years
since the late Bobby Frankel won with Citronnade in 2007 followed by Precious
Kitten in 2008.
Meanwhile, Rosario was the first rider to go back-to-back since Kent
Desormeaux – Possibly Perfect for Frankel in 1995 and Auriette for Gary Jones a
In her initial try at nine furlongs, Belle Royale was outrun early while
Quiet Oasis, Wild Mia and Capital Plan disputed the pace, saved ground into the
stretch, found room to split Wild Mia and City to City in the stretch and was
up to win by a half-length.
“I wouldn’t say I gave up on the turn (Belle Royale had only one rival beat
after six furlongs) because this filly really finishes,’’ said Callaghan. “But
the nature of this course has been very speed favoring all meet. Because of
that, our plan was to be forward a little more, maybe fourth.
“But she’s just one of those fillies that drops herself in and relaxes.
She’s got an unbelievable turn of foot and that is a very big weapon. The big
thing with her is she loves firm ground. She’s just very, very honest. She’s
one of those fillies who always gives 100 percent and she’s also got a lot of
class. I’m very lucky to train a filly as good as this.’’
Callaghan said Belle Royale would be pointed to the $750,000, Grade I
Beverly D. Stakes Aug. 18 at Arlington Park, a race in which Dubawi Heights
finished second in 2011.
“She came home fast, but she was doing it easy,’’ said Rosario. “She just
keeps it going. That’s just the way she runs. The last quarter of a mile she
really turns it on.
“I think she’s a really nice filly. I don’t see any reason she won’t go
longer – a mile and a quarter or a mile and three-eighths.’’
Seeking her second stakes win of the meet after taking the Grade III Wilshire Handicap April 29, Quiet Oasis had the advantage
coming to the wire, but couldn’t quite stay for owners J. Paul and Zillah
Reddam and jockey Mario Gutierrez.
In her first attempt beyond one mile, Quiet Oasis finished a half-length in
front of fellow 6-1 shot Capital Plan. She paid $6.60 and $4.60 while Capital
Plan returned $5.20 to show.
Ben Cecil, the trainer of the runner-up, said she could make her next start
in the Grade II, $150,000 Royal Heroine Mile July 7.
“She ran really well, but what can you do?’’ he said. “A mile and an eighth
might be her limit, but we’ll see. It’s nice to be Grade I placed, but it would
be nicer to win it.’’
City to City wound up fourth ahead of Cambina, 2-1 favorite Nereid, Wild Mia
and Bauble Queen.