Bal a Bali lives up to billing with stellar U.S. bow in
Imported last summer by new owners Fox Hill Farms and Siena Farm, Bal a Bali
“It really is fulfilling to get his first race in the U.S. under his belt,
“The podiatrist at Rood & Riddle (in Lexington, Kentucky) named Vernon Dryden
Now the Brazilian Horse of the Year, and Triple Crown winner, looks ready to
With Flavien Prat aboard, Bal a Bali was nestled in midpack while War Academy
(Giant’s Causeway) carved out moderate fractions of :23 4/5 and :48 on the firm
turf. The prompting Winning Prize (Pure Prize) put his head in front through six
furlongs in 1:11 4/5 and tried to inch away at the top of the stretch, but he
was soon accosted by Talco (Pivotal).
Bal a Bali, in the thick of contention but briefly needing room, bravely came
through between them. Despite his lack of race-fitness, the champion found
another gear to surge ahead. Bal a Bali drew off by one length and negotiated
the grassy mile in 1:35 3/5, returning $5 to his fans. Talco held the runner-up
spot by 1 1/4 lengths from the fast-finishing Gabriel Charles (Street Hero).
Winning Prize tired to fourth.
Mandella wasn’t fazed by the traffic Bal a Bali encountered.
“Yes, but he’s a pro,” the Hall of Famer said. “He’s run enough times. He
knows what he’s doing. Flav’s a pro, too.”
“He did a great job today,” said Prat, who was racking up his third win on
the card. “he’s just a really good horse. I had a little trouble on the turn
because it was his first time on a short turn like that but he can run longer
than this; he can run a mile. He’s a great horse.
“He has worked so good in the mornings so I was pretty confident. He just
repeated his works today. I wasn’t really surprised (by his win). He was the
champion in Brazil so he can be the champion here — why not?”
Now sporting a 13-12-0-1 line, Bal a Bali boosted his bankroll to $570,078.
His lone loss came in his juvenile campaign, when third in the 2013 Grande
Premio Conde de Herzberg (Brz-G2). He was otherwise unbeatable for Stud
Alvarenga and trainer Dulcino Guignoni. Earlier at two, he accounted for the
Premio Jose Calmon and Grand Premio Mario de Azevedo Ribeiro (Brz-G3). The
beginning of his sophomore season was highlighted by scores in the Premio Ernani
de Freitas and Premio Julio Capua (Brz-G3).
Bal a Bali went on to sweep the 2014 Triple Crown at Gavea. He crushed the
Grande Premio Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Brz-G1) by 7 1/2 lengths in course
record (and near world-record) time for the metric mile, 1:31.36. He added the
Grande Premio Francisco Eduardo de Paula Machado (Brz-G1), over 2,000 meters, by
3 3/4 lengths. And in the Grande Premio Cruzeiro do Sul (Brz-G1) at 2,400
meters, he set another Gavea course record in 2:23.25.
The dark bay concluded his Brazilian career by beating older horses in the
Gran Premio Doutor Frontin (Brz-G2) and the Grande Premio Brasil (Brz-G1), a
Breeders’ Cup Challenge event, last June 8.
Bal a Bali was bred in Brazil by Haras Santa Maria de Araras. The
five-year-old is out of Group 3 vixen In My Side (Clackson), and his pedigree
features 4×4 inbreeding to the matriarch Gonfalon (Francis S.).
Mandella mentioned that Bal a Bali could step up to 1 1/4 miles for the $1
million Manhattan (G1) on Belmont Day, June 6, or keep to a mile at home for the
$400,000 Shoemaker Mile (G1) at Santa Anita June 13.