Vincent Scuderi's homebred Paulassilverlining didn't mind the mud at Belmont Park on Saturday, rolling home a 3/4-length winner of the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom Handicap. Up against a field of five other fillies and mares, the 4-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper covered 6 1/2 furlongs over the muddy (sealed) main track in 1:15.92 under John Velazquez for Michelle Nevin.
“I am extremely pleased,” Nevin said. “She ran great. Johnny gave her a great ride. I'm very happy. I'm always expecting her to run well. She always tries. I don't see why she shouldn't [go to the Breeders' Cup]. This filly has shown up all year, except her last race when she was only beaten two lengths and she might not have gotten the trip she really wants. We'll have to discuss things and see what happens.”
Momamemaria broke the sharpest of the field, with Paulassilverlining and Wonder Gal just in behind her. Breeders' Cup winner Wavell Avenue was back in fifth early on, as Momamemaria strode out to a 1 1/2 length lead through a first quarter in :22.58. Entering the turn, Wonder Gal moved into second by a half-length over Paulassilverlining while Momamemaria marked the half-mile fraction in :45.33. Wavell Avenue stayed along the rail to save ground through the turn.
Drifting out at the head of the lane, Momamemaria left room for several contenders to come up the rail. Velazquez, however, already had momentum aboard Paulassilverlining and so kept her moving along the outside to take the lead a short ways into the stretch. Quezon came from fourth along the rail to move into second, and Wavell Avenue tried to make up ground the closest to the rail. At the wire though, it was Paulassilverlining by three-quarters of a length over Quezon, with Wavell Avenue relegated to third.
“She made me look good,” Velazquez said. “I should have stayed inside. The horse in front of me started drifting just when I started going out. Then I had to go back inside and close the hole. It all worked out. She held on and made me look good.”
Bred in Kentucky, Paulassilverlining was recording her fourth win of the year in the Gallant Bloom. The filly has compiled a record of 7-4-2 lifetime, with earnings of approximately $840,000.
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