Dust and Diamonds (9-1) broke the stakes record today holding off Judy the Beauty at the Gallant Bloom Handicap (G2) at Belmont Park, and won the winners share of the $200,000.
A filly by Vindication out of the Gone West mare Majestically, Dust and Diamonds hit the wire in 1:14.71 eclipsing the previous record of 1:15.29 set by Indian Blessing in 2009.
The track record still stands at 1:14.46 set by Bear Fan in 2004.
At the break, Dust and Diamonds was the first off the gate but when Jose Lezcano urged Roman Treasure at the rail to take the lead, Julien Leparoux settled Dust and Diamonds in stalking position right behind her.
Judy the Beauty was placed third and Musical Romance was fourth. Turbulent Descent, the heavy favorite, was sixth and nine lengths from the lead.
As they reached the half-mile pole, Leparoux started to pick up the pace, getting up on the leader Roman Treasure and taking the lead as they turned for home in the stretch.
She opened up a three-length lead with Judy the Beauty all out from second and Turbulent Descent flattened out after leveling up for second place.
At the wire Dust and Diamonds held on to win by 1.25 lengths over Judy the Beauty who was trying her best under Joel Rosario to catch the runaway leader.
Musical Romance hit her best stride late and finished third with Turbulent Descent fourth. She seemed to fall back during the far turn but started passing tired horses at the end. She also had nothing today for the top two finishers.
Turbulent Descent was off her game today as she started out cold and jockey John Velazquez had to go to work early to get her to move up the field. She made her move on the far turn and leveled up with Judy the Beauty in second but looked to have trouble changing leads.
For Dust and Diamonds, this race was her graded-stakes debut and a Breeders' Cup Challenge Win and You're In race. This means she earned a fees-paid berth to the Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 3.
She came from easily winning the Dashing Beauty Stakes by 5.25 lengths at Delaware Park July 21. Now she is peaking at the right time and has stamped herself as one of the top contenders for the division championship.
Gallant Bloom H. | Grade 2 | Prize: $200,000 | Distance: 6.5 furlongs | Track: Fast
|3||Dust and Diamonds||Julien R. Leparoux||19.60||9.40||5.50|
|4||Judy the Beauty||Joel Rosario||6.20||3.60|
|9||Musical Romance||Juan C. Leyva||3.80|
|Also ran: 10 - Turbulent Descent , 1 - Roman Treasure , 7 - Emma's Encore , 5 - C C's Pal , 2 - Island Bound|
|Scratched horses: Risky Rachel (Veterinarian) , Mildly Offensive (Trainer)|
Winning Owner: Padua Stables
Fractionals: 21.82, 44.49, 1:08.26 Final Time: 1:14.71