Elusive Pearl Wins The Pebbles
ELUSIVE PEARL WINS THE PEBBLES
Elusive Pearl, who won the Riskaverse Stakes at Saratoga in her turf debut, shipped back from Fair Hill, Md., to win Monday's 19th running of the $100,000 Pebbles Stakes as much the best at Belmont Park.
Breaking alertly under Ramon Dominguez, Elusive Pearl quickly assumed command at the start of the one-mile turf race, set a controlled pace of 24.88 and 50.44 seconds while prompted by Divalarious, shook well clear after six furlongs in 1:13.64 and was under moderate urging to report home by 2 1/4 lengths over late-running Hessonite.
Elusive Pearl, a versatile daughter of Medaglia d'Oro whose first two victories came in the slop at Laurel and on the Tapeta surface at Presque Isle Downs, returned $6.10 as the favorite in the field of 10 3-year-old fillies. She ran the mile in 1:36.61 over a Widener course rated firm, and improved to 4-0-1 from seven starts for owner Robert Goldsmith and trainer Michael Trombetta.
"We thought she would run well today and to have the opportunity to control the pace was a pleasure, it just fell right into her hands," said Trombetta. "She took well to the synthetic, but the grass is what I'm going to seek out going forward. Her two grass races have been spot-on."
Hessonite put in a good late run on the outside to finish two lengths clear for the runner-up spot over My Redbyrd. It was another neck back to Divalarious in fourth.
by Dave Litfin
On the New York worktab
At Belmont Park on Columbus Day, Grade 1 hero Girolamo (A.P. Indy) breezed six furlongs in 1:12 4/5 on the fast main track. The Godolphin standard-bearer has not raced since his close third in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile 11 months ago.
Grade 2 Woody Stephens winner Justin Phillip (First Samurai), sixth versus his elders in the Grade 1 Vosburgh, toured a half-mile in :52.
Grade 1-placed stakes victor King Congie (Badge of Silver), runner-up in the off-the-turf Kent Stakes, finished up in :50 4/5.
Grade 1-placed stakes veteran Sangaree (Awesome Again), just outdueled by Rule (Roman Ruler) in the Birdstone Stakes, sped in :47 3/5.
Senada (Pulpit), third in the Grade 3 Glens Falls last out, traveled in :51.
Multiple New York-bred stakes scorer Preachintothedevil (Pulpit), fifth in the Summing, smoked three furlongs in a bullet :35.
Fastest Magician (Johannesburg), winner of the A Gift two back, rattled off four panels in :47 3/5.
Grade 2 veteran Redding Colliery (Mineshaft), sidelined since his elevation to second in last November's Grade 1 Clark, breezed five-eighths in 1:01 4/5 over the fast training track.
Grade 3-placed Newsdad (Arch), sixth in the Grade 1 Secretariat in his latest, worked in 1:01 4/5 for a possible tilt at Saturday's Grade 3 Hawthorne Derby.
Royally-bred Curlin runner-up Raison d'Etat (A.P. Indy), ninth when thrown in the deep end in the Grade 1 Travers, blitzed in 1:00 3/5.
Grade 3 winner Strike the Bell (Mizzen Mast), seventh in the Grade 2 Ballston Spa, took a half-mile spin in :50 4/5.
Group 2-placed stakes diva Thai Haku (Oasis Dream), exiting a second in the Grade 3 Noble Damsel, strode in :49 4/5. She's entered in Saturday's Grade 3 Athenia.
Grade 2-placed multiple stakes scorer Spa City Princess (Roaring Fever), runner-up in the John Hettinger, posted :49 2/5.
Multiple Grade 1-placed stakes veteran Driven by Success (Precise End), a distant fourth at prohibitive odds in the Corma Ray, motored in :48.
Multiple stakes winner Rustler Hustler (Ecton Park), unplaced in all three outings this season, covered five panels in 1:00 3/5. He's entered in Saturday's Chief Tamanaco.
On the firm inner turf, Grade 1-placed stakes victor Boisterous (Distorted Humor) drilled four furlongs in :48 3/5. The Phipps Stable homebred comes off a fifth in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer.
Over Aqueduct's fast main track, Grade 1-placed stakes veteran All Due Respect (Value Plus) ripped a half-mile in a bullet :47 2/5, best of 19 trials at the trip. She was last seen finishing third in the Grade 2 La Troienne on Kentucky Oaks Day.
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