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Belle of the Hall Returns to Winner's Circle

January 21, 2012 · By Erin Birkenhauer · Share
Belle of the Hall came flying with a late run to take the $60,000 third race allowance feature at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 20, setting herself up well for the rest of the season while awarding her Partners for their patience at the same time.

Belle of the Hall broke last of seven under jockey Elvis Trujillo and benefited from a judicious ride, settling well off a swift pace set up front by Final Mesa with heavy favorite Strike the Moon in close pursuit. Strike the Moon began to edge away and led by three lengths going past the eighth pole, but Belle was ranging up on the outside - in perfect position to strike in the final sixteenth.
Trained by Tom Albertrani, our 5-year-old daughter of Graeme Hall scored a half-length victory in the 6 ½-furlong test. She stopped the clock in 1:16.95 on the track labeled “fast” and paid a generous $21.80 for a $2 ticket. The win boosted her career record to 5-1-2 from 15 starts and lifetime earnings of more than $300,000.

“We knew going into this race that she likes six and a half furlongs,” Albertrani said. “This race set up really well for her, and she made a big move and wore down the leader despite not  changing leads in the stretch. This distance really suits her running style as a come-from-behind sprinter. I’m so happy to see her back in the winner’s circle. This was a nice group of fillies and mares.”

The Feb. 19 $150,000 Hurricane Bertie Stakes (G3) is a potential target for Belle, according to West Point Thoroughbreds founder and president Terry Finley.

“It’s been a patience tester with this mare,” Finley remarked. “We’ve tried some different things with her, and I really think the addition of blinkers has helped her. She’s got a shot to be very effective at six and a half and seven furlongs as a closing sprinter. I’m really glad we skipped the Sunshine Millions and ran in here. This sets her up really well for the rest of the season. We’ll take a hard look at the Hurricane Bertie next month.”

If she turns in yet another good performance there, Gulfstream’s Inside Information Stakes mid-March could be a viable target for our sprinting racemare.
A photo Tom Albertrani's assistant Josh Flores took after the race: