May 25, 2024

Bella Sofia noses Frank’s Rockette in Vagrancy thriller

Vella Sofia wins the 2022 Vagrancy (Susie Raisher/Coglianese Photography)

Following a stretch duel in which the protagonists barely conceded an inch to the other, Bella Sofia prevailed by the slimmest of noses over Frank’s Rockette to take the $145,500 Vagrancy H. (G3) for fillies and mares at Belmont Park on Saturday.

Winner last season of the Test (G1) and Gallant Bloom H. (G2), Bella Sofia started as the 2-5 favorite in the 6 1/2-furlong dash, which marked her first outing since running fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) in November. Bella Sofia poked her head in front of early leader Miss Brazil at the half-mile marker, but the lead steadily diminished to the wire as Frank’s Rockette turned in a tremendous performance while bidding inside the winner down the stretch.

“She’s a very gutsy filly,” said Rudy Rodriguez, who trains Bella Sofia for Michael Imperio, Medallion Racing, Sofia Soares, Vincent Scuderi, and Parkland Thoroughbreds. “She’s been galloping out seven-eighths to a mile the two times she worked before her last work, so I knew she was fit. It’s good when they dig in like that.”

Ridden by Luis Saez, Bella Sofia returned $2.80 after finishing up in 1:16.02 over a fast track. Frank’s Rockette had a 9 3/4-length margin of Assertive Style, who was followed by Kept Waiting and Miss Brazil.

Bred in Kentucky by Two Tone Farms, Bella Sofia was most recently sold for $20,000 as an OBS juvenile. A four-year-old by Awesome Patriot, Bella Sofia was produced by the multiple stakes-placed Love Contract, by Consolidator. Her record now stands at 7-5-1-0, $675,100.

Runhappy S. (G3)

Drafted, an eight-year-old gelding, won his second graded stakes in three starts this season in the $139,500 Runhappy S. (G3) under Jose Ortiz.

Although at a tactical disadvantage with Chateau the lone speed in the six-furlong Runhappy, Drafted overcame an early six-length deficit and proved the only rival with any finishing kick. The winning margin was one length for the gray, who finished up in 1:10.84.

“I was a little worried when the pace didn’t develop like I thought,” Ortiz said. “Chateau broke really well and (2-1 favorite) Repo Rocks didn’t, so Chateau was able to get away with an easy lead. He went fast enough, but by himself, which was good for him. I’m happy we were able to run him down.”

Owned by Dublin Fjord Stables, Racepoint Stables, Kevin Hilbert, and Thomas O’Keefe, Drafted returned $8.60 as the 3-1 fourth choice in a field of five. Chateau finished second by three parts of a length over Officiating. Repo Rocks finished fourth, while Answer In was eased and walked past the finish after a rein broke during the running of the race.

This was the fifth career stakes win for Drafted, who previously landed the Feb. 3 Toboggan (G3) at Aqueduct by 4 1/2 lengths over Repo Rocks going seven furlongs. His other three stakes wins occurred in Dubai, where in 2019 he won a pair of Group 3s and a listed event the year before. His record now stands at 27-8-2-3, $939,193.

Bred in Kentucky by John Foster, Barbara Hooker, and the Field Commission Partnership, Drafted is by Field Commission and out of Keep the Profit, by Darn That Alarm.