Tito’s Handmade Vodka Juvenile Fillies Division
BreederJSM Equine, LLC.
Bellafina emerged as a major contender in the Tito’s Handmade Vodka Juvenile Fillies after a pair of Del Mar stakes victories. Jockey Flavien Prat piloted her for trainer Simon Callaghan and owner Kaleem Shah in each of her three starts.
In her debut, Bellafina finished second in a race contested on the Fourth of July at Los Alamitos. Callaghan added blinkers for her next effort, Del Mar’s Sorrento Stakes, and the filly beat the field by 4 ½ lengths. A month later, on the same oval, Bellafina won by the same margin in the Debutante Stakes.
"She was more aggressive today. I think (the Sorrento) got her in that mode," Prat said. "She was on it.”
Callaghan tweeted that Bellafina is pointed to the Chandelier Stakes at Santa Anita before heading to the Breeders’ Cup.
"I said to Kaleem that she's the best filly I've ever trained," Callaghan said. "She's pretty special, and I think she's going to keep getting better."
That’s high praise considering Callaghan’s training resume includes Taris, Fashion Plate, Abel Tasman, American Gal and Moonshine Memories. But, even though these horses have won an impressive list of stakes races, Callaghan is looking for his first Breeders’ Cup win.
Shah campaigned 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Bayern. He was born and raised in India, where his father, Majeed Shah, successfully trained Thoroughbreds and won the Indian Triple Crown twice. Majeed encouraged his children to focus on their studies instead of horses. Kaleem Shah, founder and president of Virginia-based communications company CalNet, became a United States citizen in the early 1990s. A few years later, he purchased his first Thoroughbred and established his American flag silks.
Shah purchased Bellafina, a daughter of multiple Grade 1 winner and Breeders’ Cup Classic participant Quality Road, for $800,000 at a two-year-olds in training sale in Florida last March. Quality Road is currently one of the sport’s most successful sires.
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- October 31, 2018
On Friday and Saturday, the 35th Breeders’ Cup World Championships will take place at Churchill Downs and any year’s greatest weekend of racing will unfold.
- October 30, 2018
Ten game gals have had their gate-fate decided in the $2,000,000 Tito’s Handmade Vodka Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, and the formidable Bellafina, installed at 2-1 on the morning line, has drawn the outside post.
- October 24, 2018
Eleven game gals have pre-entered the $2,000,000 Tito's Handmade Vodka Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, and though she’s not named for the actress who played Wonder Woman, Bellafina looks like an Amazon among them. Trainer Simon Callaghan and jockey Flavien Prat must undoubtedly feel a sense of accomplishment, poised to start the race favorite for the second year in a row.