Saturday, September 26th, 2015
by Sarah Mace
In truth, La Verdad can do nothing wrong this year. Conditioned by Linda Rice for Sheila Rosenblum’s Lady Sheila Stable, the star sprinter drove up her 2015 record to a perfect five-for-five on Saturday afternoon with a frontrunning victory in Belmont’s Grade 2, $300,000 Gallant Bloom for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up at 6 1/2 furlongs.
Four-length winner of the Grade 2 Honorable Miss Handicap at six furlongs while posting a career high 102 Beyer Speed Figure on July 29 at Saratoga Race Course, the five-year-old daughter of Yes It’s True missed her next start, the Grade 1 Ballerina at Saratoga, due to inflammation in a hind leg. The minor setback appears to have left no lingering effects, however, as she cruised unchallenged to victory in the Gallant Bloom while going a half-furlong further than her optimum three-quarters of a mile.
Bet down confidently to .55 cents on the dollar in the field of seven fillies and mares, La Verdad popped out of the gate and immediately assumed a half-length lead over fellow early speedster Room for Me.
Pressed along through a first quarter-mile in 22.76 and half in 45.02, La Verdad opened up a full length in the far turn and entered the stretch in command.
After completing six panels in 1:08.78, the six-furlong specialist passed the distance test of the final sixteenth with flying colors, holding well to preserve a half-length victory over Wavell Avenue, who closed with a big kick from sixth. The final time was 1:15.16. Dame Dorothy, 5-1 second choice, raced evenly to finish third, followed across the line by pace-presser Room for Me, Classic Point, Willet and Street Story. [VIDEO]
Winning jockey Jose Ortiz said, “[La Verdad] broke well. She took the lead easy. I had a little pressure from the outside, but after that she settled down and she was fine.”
Rice added, “I think she needed the race. She’s been carrying a little extra weight with having had that issue at Saratoga. We missed a little training. I thought she broke just a tip flat-footed today. She’s usually much quicker away from there, but she hadn’t run in a while. I’ve had to work hard to get her here and we lost some time, but I think this race will do her a lot of good. She’ll move forward and will be harder to beat next time.”
Following a planned winter vacation that lasted from late November until mid-April, La Verdad has stymied all rivals in each date with the starter this year: Aqueduct’s Grade 2 Distaff Handicap in April, Belmont’s Grade 3 Vagrancy Handicap in May, the Dancin Renee Stakes for state-breds in June, the Grade 2 Honorable Miss in Saratoga in July and yesterday the Gallant Bloom. A winner of ten stakes races in all and owner of a 15-2-0 record in 21 starts, La Verdad has now amassed $1,350,700 in earnings.
La Verdad is scheduled to retire to the breeding shed next year, but there may be more fireworks to come in 2015. Rice had indicated earlier that if she liked what she saw on Saturday the mare could be supplemented to the seven-furlong Filly and Mare Sprint at Keeneland.
Said Rice last week, “Last year, we didn’t pay her into [the Filly & Mare Sprint] in California for several reasons: one, she had been in training for a year and a half at that point and she was a little bit tough. I knew she was a tired horse at the time. Plus, we had to go all the way to California and run seven-eighths. This year, she’s pretty fresh and in better form. It’s still seven-eighths, but if she runs a big race in this next one, we’ll probably put her in.”
La Verdad’s $180,000 winner’s share of the purse plus $18,000 in open company owner’s awards from the Fund will more than cover the $100,000 supplemental and $20,000 entry fees, should her connections decide to opt for the Breeders’ Cup start.
Bred by Eklektikos Stable LLC and foaled at Chester and Mary Broman’s Chestertown farm in Chestertown. La Verdad was purchased privately by Rosenblum following her second allowance victory in November 2013.
She is one of three winners from three starters out of successful producer Noble Fire (Hook and Ladder), a stakes-placed runner bred by Chester and Mary Broman and also trained by Rice, who bought her for Eklektikos for $115,000 at the 2007 OBS Spring sale of 2-year-olds in training.
Noble Fire is also the dam of Hot City Girl, winner last weekend of the Grade 3 Charles Town Oaks for the same connections and earner of over $340,000. Noble Fire’s first foal N. F’s Destiny (Cuvee) is an eight-time winner of over $335,000
The mare currently has a yearling filly by Freud, was not bred last year and this past spring went to Will Take Charge.