Bell’s the One rallied last to first in Saturday’s $250,000 Raven Run (G2) at Keeneland, registering a 13-1 upset in the seven-furlong test for three-year-old fillies. Corey Lanerie was up for owner Bob Lothenbach and trainer Neil Pessin, and Bell’s the One stopped the teletimer in 1:22.97.
A daughter of Majesticperfection, Bell’s the One was off slowly among 10 rivals but wasn’t far back in the compact field after an opening quarter-mile in :22.81. Irish Mischief set the early pace before relinquishing the advantage to 7-5 favorite Indian Pride, who rushed forward after breaking awkwardly and reached the half-mile point in :45.33.
Bell’s the One began picking off foes on the far turn and closed boldly while swinging wide into the stretch. First Star, the 9-2 second choice, sat a perfect stalking trip just off the front-runners and advanced three wide to take a narrow lead with a furlong remaining, with Indian Pride and Irish Mischief still battling to her inside. But there was no withstanding the surge of Bell’s the One, who stormed by the trio in deep stretch to win going away by 1 3/4 lengths.
First Star held second by 2 ¼ lengths, with Indian Pride edging Irish Mischief by a head. It was another nose back to 5-1 third choice Royal Charlotte in fifth, and Oxy Lady, Needs Supervision, Istan Council, Horologist and Free Cover completed the order of finish. Restless Rider was scratched.
Bell’s the One captured her first four starts, including the Letellier Memorial and grassy Allen Black Cat LeCombe Memorial at Fair Grounds. Second in the Eight Belles (G2) on the Kentucky Oaks Day undercard, the bay filly recorded an unplaced finish in the Acorn (G1) before a non-threatening second to possible Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint favorite Covfefe in the September 21 Dogwood at Churchill Downs.
Bred in Kentucky by Bret Jones, Bell’s the One sold for $155,000 at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton July sale and is out of the Street Cry mare Street Mate. She counts stakes-placed Running Mate as a half-sister. With Saturday’s $150,000 payday, Bell’s the One has now earned $394,350 from a 9-5-2-0 record.
The 2018 Raven Run produced Shamrock Rose, who wheeled back two weeks later to win the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint and earned champion female sprinter honors.
Rave Run Quotes
Corey Lanerie (winning rider of Bell’s the One): “It went just like I expected. Except when the three horse (Indian Pride) got off a little slow, I got a little worried that maybe the pace wouldn’t be what I needed up front. It still worked out great. I was hoping to be back there by myself where she would relax. Whenever I called on her, (I) just gave her some running room and somewhere to go. Mr. Neil (Pessin) did a great job. I want to thank him and the owners (Lothenbach Stables) for giving me the opportunity because she was ready today, and she wasn’t getting beat.”
Neil Pessin (winning trainer): “(I had) a lot of confidence. She came into it really well. Her last work before the last race (Dogwood) was exceptional, and she ran second behind Covfefe, (who) broke the stakes record. The work here the other day was better than the work at Churchill. In the race, we were where we wanted to be. When I saw her moving up the fence at the three-eighths pole, I knew she was going to be tough.”
Drayden Van Dyke (rider of runner-up First Star): “She showed a little bit more speed than I thought she would have. She was training so good up to this race; she was sharp. She put in a great effort. I had a perfect trip. I thought she was going to grind it out and hold on, but the winner just got the best of us today.”
John Velazquez (rider of third-place finisher and beaten favorite Indian Pride) on leaving the starting gate a step slow and then moving up: “What I should have done (at the start) was keep her behind the horses where she could get to relax.”
Mike Smith (rider of fourth-place finisher Irish Mischief): “She ran really well. I was hoping to be able to sit off of them a little more than I was able to, which hurt me some, but honestly she ran big.”