Racine Bell and her driver Jason Bartlett took command of the 10-horse field in the $143,000 Perfect Sting and paced best to win the event in a personal- and stakes-record 1:47.2 at The Meadowlands on Saturday (July 2).
Test Of Faith – the 2021 Dan Patch Horse of the Year – drew post 10, which did not stop her supporters from making her the overwhelming favourite at 3-5, while Racine Bell was the fourth choice at 6-1 leaving from post six.
Bartlett wasted no time launching Racine Bell to the front over Gias Surreal, with Watch Me Now N and Fire Start Hanover lining behind them. Test Of Faith sat sixth into the :26.2 first quarter. Those positions did not change until Test Of Faith took to chasing first over, gaining slowly as Racine Bell cut the half in :54.2.
All of the action focused upon Racine Bell’s flashy three-quarters in 1:21.3 and Test Of Faith closing into second while Gias Surreal, Watch Me Now N, Lyons Sentinel and the others remained out of range. Racine Bell easily coasted over the line 1-1/2 lengths over Test Of Faith, with Gias Surreal getting the show spot and Lyons Sentinel completing the superfecta.
“Tonight, I kind of let her go at her own speed and I got a little bit of a breather in the second panel,” Jason Bartlett said. “Then I let her do her own thing. Around the last turn she was still grabbing me pretty good, so I felt pretty confident.
“We've had a very difficult time with her running out,” Bartlett also said. “Over time we found something to help her to go a lot straighter. I think we're on the right track solving that and she's gotten a lot faster going straighter. She has gotten better and better every year.”
The final time was Racine Bell’s fastest win and three ticks off of Shartin N’s 1:46.4 track record for pacing mares. But it did best the stakes record 1:48.3 set by Camille in 2013 when the race was then named the "Artiscape".
David Dewhurst trains the five-year-old daughter of So Surreal for owners Chris S. and Dale G. Lawton. She has now won 27 races from 63 starts and earned $900,391 in her career.
Racine Bell paid $15.80 to win.