Sorrento Cuts Back In Distance, Draws Ten
Maiden Bellafina Is Early Favorite
By Margaret Ransom
A field of ten 2-year-old fillies will race 6 furlongs in the 33rd running of the $200,000 Sorrento Stakes (GII) at Del Mar on Sunday — a race which serves as the traditional prep for the Del Mar Debutante Stakes (GI) on Sept. 1. Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert put his ownership stamp on the race a long time ago, saddling Soviet Sojourn to victory in 1991 and adding six more — Batroyale (1995), Silverbulletday (1998), Chilukki (1999), Inspiring (2004), Executiveprivilege (2012) and Pretty N Cool (2015) — but goes without a runner in here, leaving the event to mostly trainers who have never even saddled a runner in the race.
This race was contested at 6 ½ furlongs for years, from 1993 until last year, but with the California racing calendar having changed so much with the loss of Hollywood Park and the fact that Santa Anita ran no juvenile races, Del Mar thought it best to offer this race at a shorter distance since it’s a good bet not many babies are ready. Now back at three-quarters of a mile, the distance is now a logical distance step to the Debutante’s seven furlongs.
The early favorite is the maiden Bellafina from owner Kaleem Shah and trainer Simon Callaghan. The $800,000 daughter of Quality Road was second in her only outing at Los Alamitos a month ago, but the way she ran for that second was a little green, leaving many to believe she… (more)