Speedy La Verdad broke quickly and went on well from there, holding off a late-closing Wavell Avenue for a front-running victory in the Grade 2, $300,000 Gallant Bloom Handicap Saturday at Belmont Park.
Room for Me was an early presence on her outside as La Verdad ran the first quarter in :22.76 and the half-mile in :45.04. Ridden by Jose Ortiz, the 5-year-old mare ran strongly through the stretch, hitting the wire in 1:15.16 for the 6 1/2 furlongs. Dame Dorothy, after a slow break, finished third.
Linda Rice trains La Verdad for Lady Sheila Stable. The Gallant Bloom was her fifth straight win and her 15th career victory from 21 starts.
A daughter of Yes It's True out of Noble Fire (Hook and Ladder), La Verdad was bred in New York by Eklektikos Stable LLC.
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