Strike the Bell rallied from last to first Sunday afternoon
at Belmont Park to capture the first graded stakes win of her career in the 23rd
running of the Grade 3, $100,000 Noble Damsel.
Breaking from the inside, Strike the Bell saved ground running last of all as C.
S. Silk led the way through a quarter mile in 23.54. As the pacesetter opened
up seven lengths on the field for a half mile in 46.16, Strike the Bell
remained reserved toward the rear before being angled out to roll to a 1 ¼
length victory over favored Quiet Meadow.
The winner’s final time for one mile over the good Widener
turf course was 1:34.58.
“I’ve ridden this filly twice before, so I knew her coming
into this race today,” said winning jockey Ramon Dominguez. “I felt pretty
confident after the first quarter of a mile. She fell into the bridle nicely
and I could tell we were going to have a good run. When I started to angle
out, and pass horses, I could feel that I wasn’t going to have to go to the
whip because she was rolling. I could see on the big screen that they were
behind me and trying to pressure me, but I felt like we were home free.”
The daughter of Mizzen Mast, who missed by just a head in
the Miss Liberty Stakes at Monmouth three starts back before running sixth
behind Dynaslew in the Grade 2 Ballston Spa at Saratoga on August 28, now owns
a record of 4-4-3 from 16 starts and has earned $237,278 for Rising Star
“Even though Ramon was that far back, he was happy with his
spot,” said winning trainer David Donk. “He knows she just has a big turn of
foot. He trusts her and that’s the biggest thing. If he’s comfortable,
then I’m comfortable.”
Sent off as the 4-1 co-second choice, Strike the Bell returned $10.80.
Scolara checked in third and was followed by Chestoria, Sweeter Still, C. S.
Silk, Kristi With a K and Meriwether Jessica.
“I honestly haven’t thought past this race,” Donk said when
asked where the filly might start next. “I knew today was an important one
because it’s graded. It’s a nice one to get out of the way. I hope that
she’s around another year and could be a pretty serious filly.”