- Road to the Kentucky Derby
- Racing & Wagering
Believe You Can gets the job done in Tempted
Brereton C. Jones' homebred Believe You Can tracked the early pace in Sunday's $98,000 Tempted Stakes at Belmont Park before moving up to take command in the stretch and pulling out the 2 1/2-length score. This win allowed trainer Larry Jones to visit the winner's circle for the second day in a row after saddling Havre de Grace to victory in Saturday's Grade 1 Beldame Stakes.
Believe You Can has a ways to go to live up to her more famous stablemate, but took the next step on that road when finishing the Grade 3 Tempted in 1:11 1/5 after going six furlongs on the muddy track. Gabriel Saez settled his dark bay mount to the outside as Select Cat and Perennial Song dueled for the early lead through splits of :21 3/5 and :45. Believe You Can was widest of the three when rounding the turn and grabbed the lead once entering the stretch, easily pulling away to take her stakes debut.
"Everything worked out perfect," Saez said. "I was kind of worried a little bit, she was starting to get a little tough on the turn and I was working to get her to relax. She got to relax a little bit and set up a little bit to make a move. At the top of the lane, I was sitting on plenty of horse. She was going really well."
Sent off the 7-2 fourth choice in the five-filly field, Believe You Can paid $9.50, $4.90 and $2.70 to her backers. Perennial Song was best of the rest, fourth lengths clear of 6-5 favorite Georgie's Angel on the wire, while Colormesaichi filled out the superfecta and Select Cat rounded out the field.
"I've had a lot of these Proud Citizens, and they'll run on anything," Jones said when asked about the muddy conditions. "She's a pretty good filly. We want to run her two turns. I thought she had more speed then these others, but we've been teaching her to relax. It's easy to teach one to rate when (they) go in 21 and change."
Believe You Can finished fourth in her career debut at Monmouth Park on June 26, but the daughter of Proud Citizen quickly rebounded to earn her first victory 16 days later at Delaware Park. She returned a month later to add an optional claiming contest to her resume by 4 1/2 lengths and now boasts a scorecard that reads 4-3-0-0, $110,550.
The Kentucky-bred juvenile, who is out of the unraced El Prado mare El Fasto, could now be headed to the Breeders' Cup, though which race she'll run in is still up for debate.
"We don't know. This leaves a lot of options open," Jones admitted. "I'll get with the governor (owner/breeder Brereton Jones, former governor of Kentucky). We'll have a lot of time to talk. I told Brereton this is a quality filly, and we've thought a lot of her."