The next Bellafina? Amalfi Sunrise dazzles on debut

June 25, 2019 10:16am

After Bellafina triumphed in last year’s Sorrento Stakes, trainer Simon Callaghan will try to double up in Del Mar's Grade 2, $200,000 race for juvenile fillies with Amalfi Sunrise.

The 2-year-old daughter of Constitution debuted Sunday at Santa Anita Park, blitzing her rivals by 6 ¼ lengths under jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr. to notch a win for Callaghan and owners Doug Branham and Marsha Naify.

After the 4 1/2-furlong first out victory, Callaghan said the Aug. 3 Sorrento at six furlongs is the next -- and familiar -- step for Amalfi Sunrise, a $185,000 purchase earlier this year.

“I think you can’t ask anything more from a 2-year-old filly first time out,” Callaghan said. “She did everything really well. She was professional, broke well, drew away like a good filly and ran a good time.

“She’s a filly that we’ve always liked. We’re looking forward to the rest of the year with her.”

Bellafina, twice a graded heroine at seven furlongs, will cut back to that distance again in her first start since the Kentucky Oaks. The filly remains on target for the Grade 1, $500,000 Test Stakes on Aug. 3 at Saratoga, Callaghan said.

“We just think brining her back to a sprint distance might be the perfect distance for her,” the trainer added.

Bellafina’s victories Sept. 1 in the Del Mar Debutante (G1) and Jan. 6 in Santa Anita’s Santa Ynez (G2) — her other graded stakes starts at 7/8 of a mile — came by a combined 12 3/4 lengths.

Bellafina’s resume includes four other graded scores: the Sorrento and Santa Anita’s Chandelier (G1) at 2, and the Las Virgenes (G2) and Santa Anita Oaks (G1) as a sophomore.

Last out, Bellafina went to the starting gate a 9-5 favorite in the Kentucky Oaks. The Quality Road filly ran fifth under jockey Flavien Prat, returned to California and took a month off from serious training.

Bellafina returned to the work tab June 15 at Santa Anita, going three furlongs handily in 38.40. She then went four furlongs Saturday in 49 seconds.


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