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Thursday, January 3, 2019 at 5:21 pm |
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Kaleem Shah’s multiple Grade I winner Bellafina (Quality Road) will face four rivals as she kicks off her sophomore campaign in the GII Santa Ynez S. at Santa Anita Sunday. The bay filly broke her maiden in the Aug. 5 GII Sorrento S. before adding the Sept. 1 GI Del Mar Debutante S. and Sept. 29 GI Chandelier S., but had her chances of a juvenile championship scuppered by a fourth-place effort in the Nov. 2 GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. She tuned up for the Santa Ynez with a five-furlong work in 1:00.80 (11/61) at Santa Anita last Sunday which trainer Simon Callaghan catagorized as “perfect.” Bellafina will break from post two in the seven-furlong race and is the 124-pound highweight.

Mother Mother (Pioneerof the Nile), tabbed a ‘TDN Rising Star’ after her 6 1/2-length debut win at Del Mar last July, was second behind Bellafina in the Debutante before wiring the field in the one-mile Rags to Riches S. Oct. 28 at Churchill Downs. Stretched to 1 1/16 miles, she set the pace before coming up third best in a blanket finish to the Dec. 8 GI Starlet S. last time out. Cutting back to seven furlongs Sunday, she’ll break from the rail.

Also coming out of the Starlet is Sold It (The Factor), who graduated over the turf at Del Mar Nov. 15. A 62-1 outsider in the Starlet, she pressed the pace before tiring to fifth, beaten four lengths.

“I thought she ran really well in the Starlet,” trainer Doug O’Neill said of Sold It. “She’s doing great and we’re backing her up to seven-eighths because that’s what’s on the calendar, so we’ll either lead her over for the Santa Ynez or continue to work her, but I think her best races will be at two turns.”

Sold It will break from post three Sunday and the field is rounded out by Tomlin (Distorted Humor) and Reflect (Trappe Shot).

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