(Pauline’s Pearl wins the G2 Fleur de Lis Stakes / All Photos by Coady Photography)

From the Churchill Downs Media Team / Kevin Kerstein:

PAULINE’S PEARL BESTS A MO REAY, BELLAMORE IN GRADE II FLEUR DE LIS

Stonestreet StablesPauline’s Pearl tallied her eighth-career victory when she pressed by Bellamore and A Mo Reay in deep stretch in Saturday’s 48th running of the $400,000 Fleur de Lis (Grade II) at Ellis Park Racing & Gaming.

          Pauline’s Pearl is under the care of Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen and was ridden to victory in the Fleur de Lis by Joel Rosario.

          California-shipper Bellamore set the mild early fractions of the Fleur de Lis and was tracked every step of the way by heavy favorite A Mo Reay. Rosario positioned Pauline’s Pearl in third, about two-lengths off the early lead. Bellamore, under jockey Martin Garcia, set comfortable quarter-mile fractions of :24.49, :48.06 and 1:11.28. As the trio entered the stretch, Rosario tipped Pauline’s Pearl three-wide while Bellamore and A Mo Reay continued to battle to her inside. Pauline’s Pearl was able to get by the battling duo in deep stretch for a three-quarters of a length victory.

          “She broke away well from the gate and I got her into a good spot early,” Rosario said. “She was relaxed watching the two horses in front of her so I didn’t want to change anything too early. In the stretch she kept on coming forward and was able to get by late. She tried very hard to get by them.”

          Following the race, the stewards disqualified Bellamore from second to third for stretch interference against A Mo Reay.

          Pauline’s Pearl is a 5-year-old daughter of Tapit out of the Dixie Union mare Hot Dixie Chick. She was bred in Kentucky by her owner. Her overall record now stands at 19-8-3-3 with purse earnings of $2,127,400.

          “Joel and I talked about thins in the paddock and thought if she broke well to keep her a little closer today,” Asmussen’s assistant trainer Scott Blasi said. “It proved to be very effective. This horse is a credit to (owner) Barbara (Banke) for keeping her in training and letting her and (stablemate) Clairiere continue develop.”

          Here is the complete order of finish for the Fleur de Lis (with $2 mutuel payouts):

  1. Pauline’s Pearl ($6.52, X, X)
  2. A Mo Reay
  3. Bellamore

          Additional quotes from the Fleur de Lis:

          Brad Cox, trainer, A Mo Reay, runner-up: “There was really no excuse today. She tried hard but ended up being second best after the inquiry.”