Settled comfortably behind early pacesetter Pari through early fractions of 24.52 and 49.45, Treat Gently took the lead at the head of the stretch and opened up to hit the wire 4 ½ lengths in front of late-running Nehantic Kat.
“She’s had success at Belmont – maybe she likes it here,” said winning jockey Kent Desormeaux. “All together, she was super today. My trip was perfect. Could you draw one up like that every day for me?”
Treat Gently is now 2-for-2 over the Belmont Park turf course, having won an allowance race over this oval last July, her first start in the United States. Entering this race off of a sixth-place finish in the Grade 2 Jenny Wiley at Keeneland, her Hall of Fame trainer, Bill Mott, believed added distance would benefit the Juddmonte Farms trainee.
“She’s a quality filly and we just had to get everything right,” said Mott. “We tried her at a mile and a sixteenth last time, that was my mistake. I thought she would be able to handle that trip, and it wasn’t meant to be, so we put her back at a distance more appropriate for her. In the race, she was kind, she settled nicely for Kent, and consequently finished very well.”
With today’s win, Treat Gently ran her record to 4-4-0 from 13 starts and improved her earnings to $362,870. Sent off as the third choice in the field of seven, she returned $10.40 for a $2 win bet.
Mott said that the mare would remain in training at Belmont Park and look toward an expected start in the Grade 2, $150,000 New York Breeders’ Cup on June 19.
Bubbly Jane was third, favored The Gaillimh Girl finished fourth, and Liberally, Ballynoe and Pari completed the order of finish. Tarrip was scratched.