Peter Brant's ultra-consistent Blowout made a triumphant return to Belmont Park, posting a gate-to-wire 2 ¼-length victory over fellow Chad Brown trainee Seek and Destroy in the 27th running of the $200,000 Pebbles for sophomore fillies going one mile.
Blowout, who won her only previous start at Belmont in the Wild Applause on June 22, broke sharply under Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez and led the seven-horse field through an opening quarter-mile in 23.30 seconds and the half in 46.24 on the firm Widener turf course.
The English-bred Blowout maintained her advantage out of the turn, with Velazquez keeping her to the inside, where she gained separation under a drive. The daughter of Dansili powered to the wire with a final time of 1:33.35, giving Velazquez his fourth consecutive win on the day's card.
“We knew she had speed. We were just trying to keep her calm in the post parade and hope she would give me a little break in the first part of the race. Obviously, she did, and she had something left running down the lane,” Velazquez said.
Off at 5-2, Blowout returned $7.70 on a $2 win wager. She improved her career bankroll to $280,600.
Blowout has never finished off the board in seven starts, improving to 3-3-1. After the half-length win in the Wild Applause, Brown moved her back to graded stakes company for two starts during the summer meet at Saratoga Race Course, with a runner-up effort in the Grade 3 Lake George on July 19 and third, a neck behind dead-heated winners Regal Glory and Varenka, in the Grade 2 Lake Placid on August 17.
“She runs her race every time. She a nice filly,” said Whit Beckman, assistant to Brown. “She tries hard and when she gets her trip, she's capable. She's a pretty determined horse and when asked, she does the job perfectly.”
E Five Racing Thoroughbreds' Seek and Destroy, the 2-1 favorite, entered with wins in four of her previous five starts, including a three-length score last out in the Grade 3 Ontario Colleen on July 20 at Woodbine. The Verrazano filly, ridden by Hall of Famer Javier Castellano, edged Feel Glorious by a head for runner-up status.
“She ran well. She was closing,” Beckman said. “Javier had a nice little move with her. We're real happy with her performance.”
Completing the order of finish was Alasaayil, East, Passing Out and Eyeinthesky. Bellera, a main-track only entrant, was scratched.
Live racing resumes on Sunday at Belmont with a 10-race card. First post is 1 p.m. Eastern.
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