Saturday, January 12, 2008 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . January 12, 2008 . . . Maturity and versatility paid off for Lady Belsara in the Wishing Well Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday. The 5-year-old mare relaxed behind a brisk pace before drawing away to win the $50,000 Wishing Well by 3 lengths. Just for Keeps held second, 1 1/4 lengths ahead of the closing Initforthekandy.
"If I had encouraged her, she would have been right up on the lead, but I sat still and let her settle where she was comfortable," said winning rider Bill Troilo. "Good older mares, I think they learn they don't have to wing-ding it on the front the whole time."
Trainer Matthew Kintz echoed that thought. "She showed last time that she could rate, and I gave Billy the option to do what he felt was best. She's maturing and learning to settle earlier. She’s given us the option."
Lady Belsara broke well from the 9 post and moved up quickly just outside First At Summer, who was fast and first out of the gate. Within a few strides, however, Lady Belsara had settled a couple of lengths back in fourth while First At Summer, Pola's Place, and Just for Keeps raced ahead. Jockey Bill Troilo brought Lady Belsara four wide leaving the backstretch and she steadily advanced to take the lead from Just for Keeps in mid-stretch.
Quickly run, fractions for the six-furlong race flew by in :22.15, :44.97, and :57.49 before Lady Belsara set the final time at 1:10.23. The winner was the favorite at 6-5 and paid $4.40, $3.00, and $2.40.
Completing the order of finish were First At Summer, V. I. P. Princess, Humorous Gal, Daring Julie, Pola's Place, Ituna, and Byenne. Miss A. Bomb was an early scratch.
Lady Belsara now has five wins, one second, and two thirds in 11 career starts. The Wishing Well, her second stakes win, pushed her career earnings to $226,020. She was bred by Bronze Bell Farm & Partners and is owned by At The Moment Stables, both entities led by Kintz's father, Steven Kintz. "At some point we'll breed her but we’re such racing enthusiasts that we want to keep this going a while," said the elder Kintz.
Racing continues Sunday at Turfway at 1:10 pm. The track is open only for simulcasting on Monday, and live racing then returns Wednesday at 1:10 pm.