(Bella Aurora rallies to win Interborough Stakes at Aqueduct / Alyssa Jacobs Photo & Courtesy of NYRA)
Country Life Farm’s Bella Aurora made her first start in New York a memorable one, surging up the rail in the stretch and finishing a one-length winner as a 37-1 longshot in Monday’s $100,000 Interborough for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Bella Aurora, a mainstay at Laurel Park in Maryland, hit the wire first for the first time in 13 months, notching her second career stakes score.
Making her 4-year-old debut, the Michael Trombetta trainee rallied from last-of-six, as Alisio led the six-horse field through a contested opening quarter-mile in 22.78 seconds and the half in 46.50 on the fast main track.
Out of the turn, jockey Jorge Vargas, Jr. altered his initial plans to tip-out wide and instead capitalized on an open seam inside. His charge thrived with running room in front, powering down the lane to overtake a bunched-up field. Vargas, Jr. kept Bella Aurora to task as she completed the seven-furlong sprint in 1:25.63 for her first victory since the Gin Talking in December 2019 at Laurel.
“I just tried to get her relaxed and make one move,” Vargas, Jr. said. “By the turn, she was taking me places and I thought if she kept doing that well we’ll be all right. When the rail opened up, she went through there and just went for it.
“At the turn, I was trying to save some ground and then work my way out,” he added. “But the hole opened up so big I just went straight in there and got the job done.”
Bella Aurora, the longest shot on the board, returned $76.50 on a $2 win wager. Bred in Virginia by Morgan’s Ford Farm, the Carpe Diem filly increased her career earnings to $223,140.
“Today, she got a favorable set up,” Trombetta said. “Jorge did such a good job with her. He saved ground and was patient enough that when the opportunity along the rail became available, he had enough horse to grab it.”
Bella Aurora improved to 4-1-4 in 12 career starts.
“This was such a nice surprise,” Trombetta said. “We’re going to have to figure out what the new plan looks like.”
Needs Supervision, an 8-1 choice, bested Saguaro Row by a neck to complete the high-priced exacta [$195.50] in her first start at the Big A since finishing fourth in the 2019 Grade 3 Go for Wand.
“I thought I was in a good spot, but they got me pinched there around the turn and I lost my momentum a little bit,” Needs Supervision jockey Manny Franco said. “When I came out, my filly started running.”
Portal Creek, the 4-5 favorite, Call On Mischief and Alisio completed the order of finish.
Live racing resumes Thursday at Aqueduct with an eight-race card. First post is 12:50 p.m. Eastern.