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Naples Bay Posts Upset in Noble Damsel

Naples Bay posted a 13-1 upset to earn the first stakes victory of her career on Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park, edging away to take the 22nd running of the Grade 3, $150,000 Noble Damsel by 1 ½ lengths.

As Silver Screamer opened up three lengths on the field through a quarter-mile in 23.41 and then widened her lead to five through a half-mile in 46.18, Naples Bay settled in third behind her stablemate, Federation. Three wide at the quarter pole, Naples Bay accelerated swiftly through the lane to collar the pacesetter with a sixteenth of a mile to go and draw clear under Jose Lezcano for the victory.

She stopped the clock at 1:33.96 for a mile over Belmont’s firm Widener turf course. Favored Dealbata got up in the final strides for second, while Silver Screamer held third over Federation.

“They both [Naples Bay and Federation] trained very well,” said winning trainer Christophe Clement. “I thought they had the same chance. One finished fourth, the other one won, so there was not a lot between the two of them. It’s nice, because it’s nice not to win races with a 2-1 shot. It just shows that sometimes you’ve got to take a shot. It’s wonderful.”

Naples Bay, a 4-year-old half-sister to multiple Grade 1 winner and prominent stallion Medaglia d’Oro by Giant’s Causeway, is owned by Edward Cox, Jr. Clement credited Cox for the decision to run in the Noble Damsel following a 4 ¼-length turf allowance win at Monmouth Park on August 17.

“I thought she was very impressive in the allowance at Monmouth, and I’ve got an owner who’s got a very strong character. More often than not he’s right, and he told me to think about this race and he was absolutely right,” Clement said. “It’s a big deal, because she’s a half-sister to Medaglia d’Oro, so she’s very well-bred and she’s a graded stakes winner. Mr. Cox has been in the game forever, and it’s a wonderful win for him. He’s been very loyal to the stable. I’m delighted. Let’s enjoy that [win] for a little bit, no plans.”

In the Noble Damsel, Naples Bay ran her record to 4-1-1 from 10 starts and earned $90,000 to increase her bankroll to $210,170. Seventh choice in the field of nine fillies and mares, she returned $28.00 for a $2 win bet.

Kya One, La Cloche, Embarr, Law of The Range and Julie’s Love completed the order of finish.


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