I Billieve in the San Clemente Handicap Winner

San Clemente Handicap (Grade 2)- $200.000 Purse
DMR- For Fillies Three Years Old
One Mile on the Turf
July 23, 2017

I Billieve came into this race looking for her first stake victory, after five tries. After I busted on her in the preview comparing her to the Buffalo Bills, perhaps I Billieve’s victory today is a sign that even that football team, could one day, also win the big one. She was overlooked by many in the crowd today, being sent off at 9/1 odds, and only Ocean Reef being a longer shot on the board. So, those who did billieve in our winner today, certainly were rewarded. In this race, I Billieve was much the best, jumping out to the early lead, and never looked back. Our Typical Rich Girl tried to make a late run on her, but in the end she could only be a cheerleader on the sideline. The winning trainer is Sharis Stables, and its good to see them back in the winners circle of a big race. They had a great run with both One Big Mess, and I Billieve’s sire, Buffalo Rising, and now I Billieve looks to follow in those footsteps. Winning the San Clemente could be a good first step towards bigger things in the future. For the trainer, it is their first win in the stake, while the jockey, G L Stevens also gets his first such win. Congratulations! The time of the victory was 1:33.57, placing it as the third quickest edition of the race in its fifteen year history. Here’s a look at how it unfolded.

(1/4 Mile- :23.71)- I Billieve makes her fans want to shout with joy right from the gate as she jumps to a length lead for her trainer, Sharis Stables, but she does get some closer company as they move into the first turn in the form of Miss Optimist, fittingly, for Mb Stables, and of course wearing those silks of Mb Stables with that division rival logo, signifying the dominance of both of the stable and a football team. Ocean Reef (Chili King Stables) swam with the dolphins running in third, and was two lengths from the lead while our friendly Typical Rich Girl (Smokey Stover) was fourth on the rail, and another length back. Trailing, with the green jet-like saddlecloth, was Wonder By Wonder for Canadian Racing.

(½ Mile- :47.17)- The pace picks up just a tad as Miss Optimist tries to put forth a challenge to I Billieve, but our eventual winner does well to remain in front and leads by half a length midway down the backstretch. Ocean Reef is personifying the stalker role here, remaining close to the two frontrunners, and looking for her best lane to make a move by both of them, trailing by less then two weeks. Wonder By Wonder moves by Typical Rich Girl at this point, moreso because the latter looked to be under a restrain here.

(Top Of Stretch, 1.5F To Go)- As the field moved around the turn, I Billieve was showing a lot of heart by holding off Miss Optimist, who took a couple runs at her to no avail. Approaching the exit of the turn, it was beginning to look like it would be Miss Optimist as the one who could not keep the pace. Ocean Reef is still stalking, and has the intention of splitting the top two, but was not able to make the kind of progress on them that she needed to. While all this was going on, Typical Rich Girl was making up a lot of ground as she swung to the outside looking to make a move. She had just under three lengths to make up. Wonder By Wonder was a similar predicament, but was on the rail and perhaps at the risk of more traffic trouble.

(Finish- 1:33.57)- With a furlong to go, things were looking very good for I Billieve, but Typical Rich Girl and Wonder By Wonder were not going to let it be easy. In the dying moments, Typical Rich Girl made a strong move and got close, but I Billieve does show some impressive heart and desire. Typical Rich Girl’s late charge going wide right comes up just a little short as she runs out of time. Also great in the stretch was Wonder By Wonder, who ended up being directly to I Billieve’s outside, but she would also run out of race track. Ocean Reef seemed to be content with running about 1-2 lengths off the lead for the entire race, and is fourth, while Miss Optimist rounds out the field, but was still within a length and a half.

About The Winner: I Billieve, trained by Sharis Stables and ridden by G L Stevens, is a three year old filly by Buffalo Rising and out of Drunken Sailor. She was bred in New York by Sharis Stables, the only trainer for which she has ever known, as a first quarter two year old. Congratulations to the connections! The win was her third in twelve starts, and it was her first stake win of any type. Her career earnings now sit at $237.140.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  I Billieve Sharis Stables Stevens G L 9.05   1nk 1:33.57  
  Typical Rich Girl Smokey Stover Espinoza V 0.70   21/4 1:33.64  
  Wonder By Wonder Canadian Racing Prat F 2.00   31/2 1:33.72  
  Ocean Reef Chili King Stables Talamo J 43.70   41/4 1:33.85  
  Miss Optimist Mb Stables Arroyo N Jr 6.20   5 1:33.93  

Track: Firm

Time: :233  :47   1:10   1:332

$2 Mutuel Prices:

3 – I Billieve 20.10 5.20 2.10
1 – Typical Rich Girl   2.50 2.10
5 – Wonder By Wonder     2.10

$1 Exacta: 3 – 1 Paid 13.90

$1 Trifecta: 3 – 1 – 5 Paid 15.00

Scratched: None

— NS

Categories: Grade II, STAKES ARTICLES

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