Sent off as the fifth choice in a field of seven with jockey Alonso Quinonez at the controls, Belloma drove between horses to triumph by one-half length in 1:16.14 while Twelve Folds held on to better Vicki Victoria by one-half length for the place.
“Last time, she tried to run with that nice filly trained by Bill Spawr (Ismene) and it didn’t work out,” noted Dan Hendricks, who trains Belloma. It turned out to be a learning experience that warranted a change in tactics.
“Today, I told Alonso to take her back a little bit, and it worked out perfectly,” Hendricks said. “Alonso gave her a great ride.” After breaking from the rail, Belloma rallied from fourth at the head of the stretch to reach the wire first.
The outcome resulted in payoffs of $15.80, $6.20 and $3.40 by the winner. Twelve Folds, overtaken after gaining the lead in midstretch with Martin Pedroza aboard, returned $3.20 and $2.40. Vicki Victoria, ridden by Kevin Krigger, paid $2.80 to show.
A daughter of Yankee Gentleman who was bred by Pam and Martin Wygod, Belloma has developed into a bargain purchase by owner Judi Partridge. She bought the filly for $4,500 as a yearling at the Barretts October Sale in 2010.
In winning the What A Surprise Purse, Belloma was awarded $34,000 to send her earnings in three starts to $65,800. Although Hendricks was noncommittal afterward, Belloma is likely to be considered for the $200,000 Evening Jewel Stakes at the same 6 ½ furlongs for California-bred 3-year-old fillies on March 31.
Santa Anita will offer a program of eight races on Friday – first post at 1 p.m. – before commencing a three-day holiday weekend of racing that extends through Monday’s Presidents’ Day.