Bella Sofia continued her rapid ascent up the three-year-old filly sprint ranks on Saturday with an emphatic victory over several more experienced and accomplished rivals in the $500,000 Test S. (G1) at Saratoga.
Debuting as late as May 6, one week after Test favorite Search Results had just missed in the Kentucky Oaks (G1), and making her fourth career start in the seven-furlong Test, Bella Sofia soundly beat that rival, and others, for trainer Rudy Rodriguez and jockey Luis Saez.
Breaking sharply from post 8, Bella Sofia secured a pace-pressing position in second behind West Coast invader Illumination. After that foe rattled off splits of :22.84 and :45.70, Bella Sofia made her bid in upper stretch, blew by the weakening Illumination, and won convincingly by 4 1/4 lengths.
Souper Sensational finished second, 1 1/2 lengths in front of Acorn (G1) winner Search Results, who started at 8-5. Always Carina, Obligatory, Illumination, Zaajel, and Make Mischief completed the order of finish.
Bella Sofia covered the distance over a fast track in 1:21.54 and paid $10.40 as the third choice. She’s owned in partnership by Michael Imperio, Vincent Scuderi, Sofia Soares, Gabrielle Farm, Mazel Stable Partners, and Matthew Mercurio.
An 11 1/4-length winner on debut at Belmont going six furlongs, Bella Sofia finished second by a length in her next start, the six-furlong Jersey Girl S. at Belmont, a month later. Her most recent outing was a facile 6 1/2-length allowance score at Belmont on July 11. She’s now earned $405,100.
“I know we asked a lot. We’re just happy to have her in the barn,” Rodriguez said. “The day she broke her maiden, she put everybody away impressively. She was training good.”
Bred in Kentucky by Two Tone Farm, Bella Sofia most recently sold for $20,000 as an OBS juvenile. She’s by Awesome Patriot and out of Love Contract, by Consolidator.