ELMONT, N.Y. - Godolphin Racing's Sentiero Italia was not to be deterred as rain began to fall at Belmont Park on Saturday afternoon as she put away the competition with the greatest of ease, romping to a 3 ¾-length victory in the Grade 2, $500,000 Sands Point.
Sent off as the 8-5 favorite, Sentiero Italia was content to sit behind the pacesetting Cara Marie, who led the field of 10 through an opening quarter-mile in 24.66 seconds and a half in 49.01. Under Joel Rosario, Sentiero Italia reeled in the leader at the top of the stretch and slipped away to complete 1 1/8 miles on an inner turf listed as "good" in 1:48.83.
The victory gave the daughter of Medaglia d'Oro her second straight graded stakes win and Rosario his fifth win on the day's card.
Sentiero Italia is now four for six in a career that began last March with trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, including a dead heat fourth-place finish in her stakes debut in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks on July 4 at Belmont and a Grade 2 score in the Lake Placid on August 14 at Saratoga.
"She had her issues early in her career but she's gotten good," McLaughlin said after the race. "Once we got her going she hasn't had any issues; she's run every race we've pointed for. She's top shelf."
Sentiero Italia returned $5.40 on a $2 win bet while the winner's share of the purse nearly doubled her lifetime bankroll, now reaching $621,100.
"She's just honest," said Rosario, who also won the Temperence Hill aboard Tacticus earlier on the card. "She gives it when you ask her, she just keeps going. I was happy I was a little closer because last time it took just a little bit of time to get her into the race and then she just runs all day."
Blond Me closed late to finish second, a neck ahead of Miss Temple City in third. Tapitry, Osaila, Mrs McDougal, Oromea, Cara Marie, Malabar and Marabea completed the order of finish.
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