The second time in graded company was the charm for Bellera, who wore down the pacesetting Gold Standard in midstretch and drew off to a 1 3/4-length victory in the $200,000 Comely (G3) at Aqueduct on Friday.
Four weeks after losing her rider at the start of the track-and-distance Turnback the Alarm H. (G3), Bellera had better luck in the Comely.
“When something like that happens, you’re always concerned if they come back safely, but she came back great and trained great,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “I felt that the mile and an eighth suited her well and she came back great today.
Stalking in behind Bellera through soft fractions of :24.33, :49.69, and 1:15.22, Bellera was able to quicken more than the long-time leading Gold Standard through the stretch and finished on top under John Velazquez. Arrifana, the 1.75-1 favorite in the field of eight three-year-old fillies, rallied to edge Gold Standard for second by three parts of a length.
Owned by Mathis Stable and trained by Todd Pletcher, Bellera paid $11.80 after completing nine furlongs on a fast track in 1:52.91.
“We were just focused on this, it’s the last straight three-year-old filly, two-turn opportunity, so we were looking forward to this,” Pletcher said. “It seems like she gets better and better. It’s nice when you have one that can handle the mile and an eighth like she does.”
Bred in Florida by Hardacre Farm, Bellera finished second in her May 31 debut against state-breds at Gulfstream prior to shipping north for the summer, when she won an open maiden at Monmouth Park and a first-level allowance at Saratoga. She was second by a neck in a second-level allowance at Keeneland prior to the Turnback the Alarm misfortune. Bellera has now earned $209,960.
By Bernardini and out of the multiple Grade 2-placed Habiboo, by Unbridled’s Song, Bellera is a half-sister to Grade 3 scorer Life Imitates Art. Habiboo is herself a half-sister to multiple Grade 1 winner and sire Street Boss.
Andina Del Sur earned her second stakes win in her last three starts with a neck victory over Theodora B. in the $150,000 Forever Together for fillies and mares. Sweet Bye and Bye, the 3-2 favorite, finished third.
Owned by Don Alberto Stable and trained by Tom Albertrani, Andina Del Sur paid $8.30 after covering 1 1/16 miles on the good inner turf in 1:43.03.
Victorious by a nose over Theodora B. in the $100,000 Violet at Monmouth Park in late September, Andina Del Sur also captured the 2018 Florida Oaks (G3). The daughter of Giant’s Causeway has now earned $470,450 from a record of 19-4-2-5.
“We’ll probably ship her down south now, regroup with her and run her at Gulfstream and see if she stays another year in training or not,” Albertrani said.
Ex-claimer Temple just held off stablemate Kadar by the narrowest of noses to claim the $150,900 Gio Ponti for three-year-olds. Both are trained by Mike Maker.
Haltered for $35,000 at Gulfstream on July 28, Temple subsequently finished third in the $600,000 Dueling Grounds Derby at Kentucky Downs and sixth in the Twilight Derby (G2) at Santa Anita.
Owned by Paradise Farms, Temple paid $18.20 after completing 1 1/16 miles on the outer turf in 1:44.32 under Jorge Vargas Jr. The son of Temple City has now earned $208,970 from a line of 13-4-2-2.