With a perfect stalking trip all
the way around in Saturday’s 52nd running of the Grade 2, $150,000
Sheepshead Bay at Belmont Park, Treat Gently (GB) drew away in the stretch to
pick up her first graded stakes win in America.
Settled comfortably behind early
pacesetter Pari through early fractions of 24.52 and 49.45, Treat Gently took
the lead at the head of the stretch and opened up to hit the wire 4 ½ lengths
in front of late-running Nehantic Kat.
Her final time for the 1 3/8 miles
over firm turf was 2:14.09.
“She’s had success at Belmont,
maybe she likes it here,” said winning jockey Kent Desormeaux. “All together,
she was super today. My trip was perfect. Could you draw one up like that every
day for me?”
Treat Gently is now 2-for-2 over
turf course, having won an allowance race over this oval last July, her first
start in the United
Entering this race off of a sixth-place finish in the Grade 2 Jenny Wiley at
Keeneland, her Hall of Fame trainer, Bill Mott, believed added distance would
benefit the Juddmonte Farms trainee.
“She’s a quality filly and we just
had to get everything right,” said Mott. ‘We tried her at a mile and a
sixteenth last time, that was my mistake. I thought she would be able to handle
that trip, and it wasn’t meant to be, so we put her back at a distance more
appropriate for her. In the race, she was kind, she settled nicely for Kent,
and consequently finished very well.”
With today’s win, Treat Gently ran
her record to 4-4-0 from 13 starts and improved her earnings to $362,870. Sent
off as the third choice in the field of seven, she returned $10.40 for a $2 win
Mott said that the mare would
remain in training at Belmont
and look toward an expected start in the Grade 2, $150,000 New York Breeders’
Cup on June 19.
Bubbly Jane was third, favored The
Gaillimh Girl finished fourth, and Liberally, Ballynoe and Pari completed the
order of finish. Tarrip was scratched.