NORTHERN INVADER BELLE HILL UPSETS GRADE III, $100,000 AUTUMN MISS STAKES, WINNING BY A HALF LENGTH; ROSS & MAWING TEAM FOR MILE WIN IN 1:35.10

 

PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $59,060 INTO SUNDAY, TOTAL PICK SIX POOL SHOULD APPROACH $500,000

 

ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 17, 2015)–Northern invader Belle Hill, who had never run on turf before, shipped south to Santa Anita and took Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Autumn Miss Stakes for 3-year-old fillies by a half length under Leslie Mawing, which gave the Kentucky-bred filly by Sky Mesa her fourth consecutive win. Trained by Larry Ross, Belle Hill got a flat mile on grass in 1:35.10.

Off at 9-1 in a field of 10, Belle Hill paid $21.20, $8.60 and $6.80.

Breaking from post position four, Belle Hill sat a close third into the far turn and overhauled a stubborn Paulina’s Love a sixteenth out en route to a hard-earned victory.

“I’ve been up north at Golden Gate and I’ve been watching the races down here all week,” said Mawing, who guided Belle Hill to three consecutive victories this past summer at Emerald Downs, just outside of Seattle–the most recent a five length score in the Washington Oaks on Aug. 8. “It seemed like speed was holding, so I didn’t want to be too far out of it.

“I wanted to keep my horse comfortable but not be pushing on her. This is her first time on the turf, but her mom (Sealy Hill, by Point Given) is a turf champion up in Canada, so that helped having it in her pedigree…We had a little bobble running into the first turn but she found her footing really fast and was back into stride again. I was very happy with her performance today and it feels really good to get my first stakes winner here at Santa Anita.”

Owned by Aithon Stable, LLC, Belle Hill broke her maiden going six furlongs in her second start at Golden Gate Fields May 2 and is now 7-5-0-1. With the winner’s share of $60,000 she increased her earnings to $173,220.

“She got a great trip and a perfect ride,” said Ross, a veteran conditioner who’s been plying his trade primarily in the Northwest and San Francisco Bay Area for more than 40 years. “It looked like a good spot for her (trying turf for the first time) and her family’s done well on it, so we decided to go with it…We’ll take her back to Golden Gate and see how it goes. She was training so well, I was pretty confident, but you never know until you try.”

Ridden by Tyler Baze, Paulina’s Love sat second to Dreamologist and Gary Stevens to the five sixteenths and proved tough to catch, finishing second, 1 ¼ lengths in front of favored Singing Kitty. Off at 5-1, Paulina’s Love paid $5.60 and $3.80.

Ridden by Rafael Bejarano and trained by Matt Chew, Singing Kitty, who broke from post nine, hopped a bit at the start and was much further back than originally intended. Off at 2-1, she finished a neck in front of Majestic Heat and paid $2.80 to show.

“The original plan was to sit behind the three (Dreamologist), but when my filly hopped, Rafael wrapped up on her, got her collected and tried to make a run,” said Chew. “We’ll give her a little breather now and come back with her at the big meet here at Santa Anita.”

Fractions on the race were 22.05, 45.43, 1:09.83 and 1:22.24.

There is a Pick Six carryover into Sunday at Santa Anita of $59,060 and it’s expected tomorrow’s total Pick Six pool should approach $500,000. First post time for a nine-race card is at 1 p.m.

 

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