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Bella Bellini Feeling At Home At Big M

Published: October 28, 2021 5:58 pm ET

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Hambletonian Oaks winner Bella Bellini will try to add the Breeders Crown to her credits in Saturday’s $650,000 final for three-year-old female trotters at The Meadowlands.

The filly, trained by six-time Breeders Crown winner Richard “Nifty” Norman, is the 9-5 morning line favourite.

The most recent filly to win either the Hambletonian or Hambletonian Oaks and also capture the Breeders Crown was Ariana G in 2017.

Bella Bellini, a daughter of Bar Hopping-Bella Dolce bred and owned by David McDuffee, has been no worse than second in 15 of 16 races this year, winning nine. She has three wins, including the Hambletonian Oaks, and two seconds at the Big M this season.

She won her Breeders Crown elimination by 1-1/4 lengths over Herculisa in 1:52.4 and will start Saturday from post three with driver Dexter Dunn.

“She was dynamite,” Norman said. “She got a nice trip and trotted home good and strong. I think she likes the Meadowlands best.”

Altar won the other elimination, beating Iteration by 3-3/4 lengths in 1:51.2. She will start from post five with Yannick Gingras driving for trainer Nancy Takter. She has finished no worse than second in seven of her last eight starts, winning six, and is the 3-1 second choice for breeder/owner Diamond Creek.

“She was well in hand, I think,” said Takter, who has won seven Breeders Crown finals. “She’s been good. I’m just happy Yannick got a feel for her because he hasn’t driven her before. I know she can be a little difficult, or she was before, but it looks like she’s kind of turned herself into a racehorse.

“I think she’s just kind of gotten a little more confident. She used to look for excuses all the time. Once she hit her stride, she found it.”

The Breeders Crown for three-year-old female trotters is race seven Saturday, the fourth of the eight Breeders Crown finals. Free full-card TrackMaster past performances are available for Friday and Saturday by visiting the Meadowlands website here.


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