Notes & Quotes From the G3 Marshua’s River Stakes: Bellavais

Gulfstream Park

Trainer Todd Pletcher (Bellavais): “I think a couple things about the last race. Unfortunately it rained that day and she had just coming off running a mile in 1:33 at Belmont on firm ground and I think they ran a mile in 1:39 that day to give you an idea how soft the inside course was.”

“She came back and I loved the way she was training coming into the race. She drew the rail and Javier’s plan was to try to save ground and maybe tip out at some point, but a hole opened and she shot through like a star.”

“We’ll probably look at possibly running back here one more time before the meet’s over. I think firm ground is key, plus she got in a little trouble last time and got bounced off the rail and that didn’t help. I still think she’s classy enough that she’ll try on any ground but she prefers it firm.”

Jockey Javier Castellano (Bellavais): “I had a perfect trip, dream trip. Unfortunately, I had a little trouble with her last time and tried to split horses and cut the corner and it was tight, I tried to anticipate and it cost me the race. Today, I thought the extra distance was going to help her a little bit. It worked out great. There was a lot of speed in the race. It folded and I was saving all the ground. Before the race I thought the horse might be better on the outside but the hole opened and those kinds of things you just have to use your best judgement and it worked out great today.”

Winning Owner: Bortolazzo Stable LLC
Winning Margin: 3 ½ lengths
Winning Time: 1:41.98

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds

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