After a successful 2020 campaign, Bell’s the One was seeking a bit of redemption in Saturday’s $110,000 Roxelana Overnight S. at Churchill Downs. The classy five-year-old mare returned to the winner’s circle with a gutsy victory over favored Sconsin.
Winner of the Derby City Distaff (G1) and third in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) last year, the Neil Pessin-trained Bell’s the One opened the season with a dead-heat second in the Madison S. (G1) at Keeneland in early April. However, she did not fire when making a title defense in the May 1 Derby City Distaff, recording a non-threatening fourth.
Off as the 2-1 second choice with Corey Lanerie, the Lothenbach Stables homebred stalked a couple of lengths back during the early stages of the Roxelana as Four Graces and Jungle Juice sparred through opening splits in :22.59 and :45.19
Sconsin, the 13-10 favorite following a convincing win in the May 22 Winning Colors (G3) at Churchill, made her move on the far turn, striking the front as the field entered the stretch. Bell’s the One rallied wide into the stretch, collaring Sconsin with about a furlong remaining. Sconsin proved game, but Bell’s the One edged by in the latter stages to win by three-quarters of a length.
By Majesticperfection, Bell’s the One completed the 6 1/2-furlong distance in a sharp 1:14.90.
“Today I let her run a little bit out of the gate because I didn’t think the pace would be too fast,” Lanerie said. “Then, I was sort of in the pocket (inside of Sconsin) and I didn’t really like my spot because I know she needs to be outside of horses. I took her back from there to make sure I got first run at Sconsin. You could tell she was ready to run a big race and Neil had her ready to go.”
“The last four or five days you could tell in her training she was ready to run a big race,” Pessin added. “She got a much better trip today than in her last start. Now, we’ll look to get her ready for the (Nov. 6) Breeders’ Cup. She’ll likely run in the (Breeders’ Cup) ‘Win and You’re In’ at Keeneland (Thoroughbred Club of America [G2]). I’m not sure yet if I’ll run her once before then or not. We’ll wait and see, but the goal is the Breeders’ Cup (at Del Mar) at the end of the year.”
Sconsin held second by nearly two lengths over Miss Mosaic. It was another 2 3/4 lengths back to Four Graces in fourth. Shesonmajestic and Jungle Juice rounded out the order of finish.
Now a six-time stakes winner, Kentucky-bred Bell’s the One became Thoroughbred racing’s newest millionaire on Saturday, padding her bankroll to $1,016,775 from an 18-8-3-2 record. The bay is out of the Street Cry mare Street Mate, a half-sister to Grade 2 winner Tap Day.