Love Reigns return to form, win Bolton Landing Stakes

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Love Reigns showed she was back in shape after a recent trip to England when she won the $150,000 Bolton Landing Stakes, with 25,102 in hand, at Saratoga Racecourse on Sunday.

Nine two-year-old fillies answered the starters’ call for the 5 1/2 furlong dash on the Mellon Turf course with the portable rail up to 27 from the inside hedge.

Sweet Harmony and jockey Javier Castellano came out first and set the pace over three furlongs, leaving several traffic issues behind before finishing fifth.

Danse Macabre and Luis Saez, the eventual runners-up, burst in at the start, bumping into Redefined and John Velazquez. Aztec Knights and Ricardo Santana, Jr. then leveled off to avoid cutting heels under pressure from Sweet Harmony.

Love Reigns took the lead in the stretch and galloped home a relieved winner by 2 1/2 lengths over Danse Macabre. It was three quarters in length for Redefined’s sake.

The course time on the firm graded course was one minute, 02.03 seconds.

Love Reigns, who races for the Stonestreet Stables, finished fourth in the $138,000 Group II Queen Mary Stakes at the Royal Ascot meeting in June. After returning home and getting some rest, the Irish-born US Navy Flag daughter of Humble and Proud completed four jobs on Oklahoma’s turf training track before being enrolled at Bolton Landing , by trainer Wesley Ward.

He commented after the race: “When (Irad Ortiz Jr., the leading rider of the meeting) tapped her on the shoulder, she walked away from them. This is what you want to see. She certainly established herself as the top prospect for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at her home track in Keeneland (4 November). I am going to tell you.

Regarding the Breeders’ Cup prep races, Ward said: “I would rather train like Twilight Gleaming did last year. But I’ll talk about it with the Stonestreet team and we’ll take it from there.

According to Ortiz, who was aboard his 41st meeting winner, relaxation is key for Ward’s horses.

“They always train behind horses to teach them. Julio Garcia, his practice rider, teaches them how to set up and finish before racing. She was going really, really relaxed. I said, ‘Okay, okay.’ When I got to the quarter pole she responded and gave me a good run,” he said.

Love Reigns, who was the 7-10 favorite, paid $3.40 to win, $2.50 to place and $2.20 to show. Danse Macabre, at 5 to 1, was worth $4.30 to place and $3.20 to show. Redefined’s show price was $4.00.

The $1 Love Reigns – Danse Macabre Exacta was widely held, as evidenced by a $5.50 payout on a pool of over $662,000. The 50-cent trio of numbers 2, 8 and 7 brought in $16.50 from a pool of over $333,000.

Love Reigns won $82,500 for his Stonestreet owners and will head to the Breeders’ Cup with earnings of $116,363. Stonestreet also collected $9,000 for No Kay Never’s fourth-place finish which was making his second lifetime start.

Alex Orr is a longtime horse racing writer.

About Ethel Partin

Check Also

Berlin Marathon 2022 Results – OlympicTalk

kenyan Eliud Kipchoge broke his own world record by winning the Berlin Marathon, with a …