Rubilinda By A Nose In Thrilling Pebbles Stakes

Don Alberto’s Rubilinda was the 6-5 favorite in Saturday’s $200,000 Pebbles Stakes at Belmont Park, restricted to sophomore fillies over a mile on the turf. The daughter of superstar Frankel was forced three-wide around the far turn and faced an unexpected challenge from 54-1 Sylphide for most of the stretch, but Jose Ortiz managed to coax just a bit more from Rubilinda when confronted late by Party Boat (3-1). At the wire, Rubilinda was a short nose in front of Party Boat, clocking a final time over the firm turf in 1:34.72 for trainer Chad Brown.

“We’re thankful to come away with the victory,” Brown said. “She ran well. She was still a little green there down the lane, switching leads and the such. He [Jose Ortiz] said when he pulled her into daylight a little earlier than she had been, she was pulling a little bit, so she still has some learning to do, but she ran good.”

Rubilinda, in her fourth career start, was slow to settle as she raced midpack through the early going while Sylphide drew away to lead the field of nine through an opening quarter mile in 23.03 seconds, and a half in 46.46. Ortiz gave Rubilinda her cue at the top of the lane and the highly regarded Frankel filly dug in through the stretch and held off a late challenge from stablemate Thais and a hard-charging Party Boat to win by a nose. Thais was a head back in third, followed by Lido, Sylphide, Scheme, Bellavais, Dynatail, and Adorable Miss to complete the order of finish.

The Pebbles was Rubilinda’s second straight stakes win, following the Christiecat on September 8 at Belmont, and her first attempt going further than seven furlongs. The win was also the third on the day’s card for Ortiz, who also won Race 5, a 6 ½-furlong claiming race, aboard Professor Snape ($8.30).

“She’s been a great filly since the first day I rode her,” Ortiz agreed. “She was very impressive in her debut. Stretching out to a mile has been a little complicated for me and her to get along, because she’s going to be a little keen. She trains like that in the morning, a little keen too. But today I tried to pull her up the most that I could and put her in the clear and she took off without me asking her for anything. I didn’t want to move at that point but it almost cost me the race. I think with this mile now and probably the next one, we’ll find a race for her. I think it’s the perfect distance for her. Today, she learned a lot of things, she’s going to keep learning.”

Bred in Kentucky, the lightly raced Rubilinda owns three wins from four starts with her only defeat coming with a runner-up finish to Cherry Lodge in a July 9allowance contest at Saratoga.

The post Rubilinda By A Nose In Thrilling Pebbles Stakes appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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