KERI BELLE TAKES GRADE III, $100,000 MEGAHERTZ STAKES BY A NOSE UNDER SOLIS; SHIRREFFS TRAINEE GETS MILE ON TURF IN 1:36.30

 

PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $59,291 INTO FRIDAY; TOTAL PICK SIX POOL SHOULD EXCEED $250,000

 

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 18, 2016)–Idle since late November in New York, Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Moss’s homebred Keri Belle held off the late charge of Stormy Lucy to win Monday’s Grade III, $100,000 Megahertz Stakes by a nose under Alex Solis. Trained by John Shirreffs, the 6-year-old mare by Empire Maker wheeled five-wide at the top of the stretch and got one mile on turf in 1:36.30.

“Coming out of the gate, I took hold,” said Solis, who was aboard Keri Belle for the first time today. “They went so fast so it pushed her back even more, but it worked out good because she was relaxed.”

In a scene steeped in déjà vu, Solis, who won nine stakes at Santa Anita with the race’s namesake, was greeted in the Winner’s Circle by Michael Bello, who owned the magnificent mare and presented today’s trophy.

“We have a lot of great memories of Megahertz,” said Solis. “Last night, I was talking to the Daily Racing Form, they had a video of all of her races. It was so special to ride a filly like her and so special watching all of her races.”

Off at 12-1 in a field of 12 older fillies and mares, Keri Belle, who picked up her first-ever stakes win, paid $27.80, 12.40 and $8.40. With the winner’s share of $60,000, she increased her earnings to $229,030. Her overall mark now stands at 12-4-2-1.

“If you watch her races, she’s got a beautiful way of going,” said Shirreffs. “She’s got a big stride and she carries herself well. Turf racing, you’ve got to be a little bit lucky and today was her day.”

Jerry Moss, who posed for 19 come-from-behind photos with the immortal Zenyatta, was understandably elated following the Megahertz.

“She’s a lovely horse, she’s really something, very pretty,” Moss said. “We brought her back from New York and it’s so great to be back in California. We’ll stay here.”

Ridden by Kent Desormeaux, Stormy Lucy, who was a close second in the Grade III Robert J. Frankel Stakes on Dec. 27, was next to last after the first half mile and unleashed a furious rally through the lane to just miss.

“I had no intention of being as far back as I was,” said Desormeaux. “She got shuffled back and kind of stuck her feet in the ground. I wanted to be mid-pack. She ran great again, she really did.”

The second choice at 3-1, Stormy Lucy paid $3.80 and $3.20.

Glenn Hill Farms’ Theatre Star, who was 10th after the first half mile, went head and head with Stormy Lucy the final three sixteenths and finished third, a neck behind her. Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, Theatre Star paid $5.20 to show.

Fractions on the race were 22.79, 46.71, 1:11.62 and 1:24.08.

There is a carryover into Friday’s Pick Six of $59,291, and it’s expected Friday’s total Pick Six pool should exceed $250,000.

First post time on Friday for an eight-race card is at 1 p.m.