La Verdad isn’t flashy but leads all the way as Gallant Bloom favorite

Profile Picture: James Scully

September 26th, 2015

La Verdad carried her speed to another stakes victory in the Empire State, improving to 5-for-5 this year with a half-length decision in Saturday’s $300,000 Gallant Bloom H. (G2) at Belmont Park. Now a nine-time stakes heroine, the New York-bred mare likely punched her ticket for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) at Keeneland on October 31.

Trained by Linda Rice, the 5yo mare was hustled from the starting gate by Jose Ortiz and established opening splits of :22.76 and :45.04 while being closely chased by Room for Me. La Verdad shook free from her rival entering the stretch but had to withstand a late challenge from runner-up Wavell Avenue, who closed stoutly at 11-1 to make it interesting.

Dame Dorothy, Room for Me, Classic Point, Willet and Street Story completed the order of finish.

Owned by Lady Sheila Stable, La Verdad prevailed as the overwhelming 1-2 favorite among seven fillies and mares and stepped 6 ½ furlongs in 1:15.16.

Now an earner of $1,350,700, the bay daughter of Yes It’s True improved her career record to 21-15-2-0.

La Verdad possesses quality speed and a winning attitude, but all of her triumphs have come at 6 or 6 ½ furlongs. The Filly & Mare Sprint takes place at 7 furlongs and La Verdad is winless from two attempts at the distance. Travel is another challenge facing her: La Verdad has posted all her wins at Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga, dropping her lone start outside New York.

She was bred by Eklektikos Stable LLC and is out of the stakes-placed Hook and Ladder mare Noble Fire. La Verdad counts recent Charles Town Oaks (G3) winner Hit City Girl as a half-sister.

Gallant Bloom quotes:

Linda Rice: "I think she needed the race. She's been carrying a little extra weight with having had that issue at Saratoga. We missed a little training. I thought she broke just a tip flat-footed today. She's usually much quicker away from there, but she hadn't run in a while. I've had to work hard to get her here and we lost some time, but I think this race will do her a lot of good. She'll move forward and will be harder to beat next time."

Jose Ortiz: "She broke well. She took the lead easy. I had a little pressure from the outside, but after that she settled down and she was fine."

La Verdad photo courtesy of Adam Coglianese Photography