La Verdad Looks Tough to Deny in Gallant Bloom
September 24, 2015 11:29am
La Verdad wins 2015 Honorable Miss
Photo: NYRA
Set for her eighth career start at Belmont Park where she has collected six wins from seven races, Lady Sheila Stable's La Verdad will look to extend her current win streak to six in the Grade 2, $300,000 Gallant Bloom for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up at 6 ½ furlongs on Saturday at Belmont Park.

Having not lost a race since November of 2014, when she was seventh over a sloppy track at Aqueduct Racetrack, La Verdad, a 5-year-old daughter of Yes It's True has emerged as one of the most consistent sprinters in the nation. Trained by Linda Rice, she most recently won the Grade 2 Honorable Miss Handicap at six furlongs on July 29 at Saratoga Race Course by four lengths while picking up a career high 102 Beyer Speed Figure after initially missing the Grade 1 Ballerina at Saratoga due to an inflammation in her hind leg. 

Looking to use the Gallant Bloom as a springboard to a possible start in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, Rice hopes her filly will continue to excel at her home track warranting the trip.    

"Last year, we didn't pay her into [The Filly & Mare Sprint] in California for several reasons: one, she had been in training for a year and a half at that point and she was a little bit tough," said Rice. "I knew she was a tired horse at the time. Plus, we had to go all the way to California and run seven-eighths [furlongs]. This year, she's pretty fresh and in better form. It's still seven-eighths [furlongs], but if she runs a big race in this next one, we'll probably put her in."

The 4-5 morning-line favorite with regular rider Jose Ortiz aboard, La Verdad will depart from post position 2.

Leading the contingent of challengers is 4-year-old Dame Dorothy for trainer Todd Pletcher and owner Bobby Flay. A 2012 Keeneland September Yearling sales graduate purchased for $390,000, Dame Dorothy has seven wins from 10 lifetime starts including a 2-for-2 record at Belmont Park. Earlier this year, Dame Dorothy picked up a Grade 1 victory in the Humana Distaff on May 2 at Churchill Downs and followed with a 1 ½ length win in the Grade 3 Bed O' Roses on June 20 at Belmont. Last out, she raced four-wide most of the way to finish sixth in the Grade 1 Ballerina. 

"She's training well," said Pletcher assistant Byron Hughes. "She shipped down from Saratoga the other day and seems to have come out of her last race in good form. It seems like 6 ½ to 7 furlongs looks to be her preferred distance, so we're hoping for a big effort."

Leaving from the rail, Dame Dorothy is the second-choice on the morning line at 4-1 and will be ridden by Hall of Famer John Velazquez.

Also looking to improve from a third-place finish in the Grade 1 Ballerina is Room for Me for owner and trainer David Jacobson. Since being claimed by Jacobson at Santa Anita Park in February, Room For Me has four wins from seven starts including victories in the Videogenic Stakes at Aqueduct in March and the Regret Stakes at Monmouth Park on August 1.

Room For Me will depart from post 3 with Cornelio Velasquez in the irons.

Rounding out the field are Street Story for trainer Steve Asmussen and Whispering Oaks Farm; Wavell Avenue for trainer Chad Brown for owners Michael Dubb, David Simon, and Bethlehem Stables; Classic Point for owner Jamie V. Shields Jr., and Willet for James Iselin.

Source: NYRA Communications 


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