MILTON, September 18, 2021 – Donna Soprano displayed tremendous determination to upend heavy-favourite Bella Bellini in Saturday’s $414,000 Elegantimage Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
The Luc Blais trained Donna Soprano was overtaken at three-quarters and looked destined for a runner-up finish until digging deep to rally by Bella Bellini for a 1:52.3 score.
“She’s a gamer. She wants to get there first,” said driver Bob McClure of Donna Soprano. “I was a little worried when (Bella Bellini) cleared me at the head of the lane, but luckily she showed her grit.”
After an early scramble, Donna Soprano moved to the top from third to post a :56.3 half. Bella Bellini got away mid-pack on the outside, only seeing the pylons briefly in the second-quarter. The 3/5 favourite ramped it up on the far turn, surging to the lead at three-quarters in 1:24.3.
In the stretch, Bella Bellini appeared to have a few lengths on Donna Soprano, but the Blais trainee had other plans and powered back to win by half a length.
Katies Lucky Day finished third, while Beautiful Game was fourth.
Donna Soprano has now won two consecutive Grand Circuit events.
“They’ve done an amazing job maintaining and keeping her behaved,” said McClure of Luc Blais and his staff. “She actually progressively gets better behaved throughout the season and I think they deserve a lot of credit.”
A daughter of Donato Hanover, Donna Soprano now has three wins in eight starts this season and eight wins in 15 career starts. The Elegantimage victory pushes Donna Soprano’s career earnings to $962,155 for Determination.
A $2 win ticket on Donna Soprano returned $6.20.