Louisiana Bred Believe in Bertie Looks to Rebound in Mint Julep

Believe in Bertie Looks to Rebound in Mint Julep
Photo: Hodges Photographyy / Amanda Hodges Weir

Believe in Bertie won the Red Camelia Stakes in March

Klein Racing’s homebred Believe in Bertie, first or second in 10 of 12 starts, tops the field of seven fillies and mares entered in the $100,000 Old Forester Mint Julep Handicap (G3T) June 10 at Churchill Downs.

The Mint Julep Handicap, a 1 1/16-mile test over the Matt Winn Turf Course, is carded as race 10 on an 11-race program with an approximate post time of 5:21 p.m. EDT.

A Louisiana-bred daughter of Langfuhr   trained by Brad Cox, the 4-year-old Believe in Bertie is coming off a game head runner-up effort to favored Roca Rojo in the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile Presented by Longines (G2T) on the  Derby Day undercard. Trained by Chad Brown, Roca Rojo is among the top contenders for the grade 1 Just a Game Stakes at Belmont Park Saturday.

The Distaff Turf effort ended a four-race win streak for Believe in Bertie, who won a trio of stakes wins this winter at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots led by a 7 3/4-length romp in the Pago Hop Stakes at one mile on turf and a half-length triumph in the Daisy Devine Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on grass. Topweighted at 122 pounds, $393,682-earner Believe in Bertie will be ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan, who won last year’s Mint Julep with Cash Control for Richard Klein’s Klein Racing and Cox. The Klein family also took the 2013 edition of the race with Miz Ida.

Expected to give the front-running Believe in Bertie a stiff challenge is Janis R. Whitham’s Whitham Thoroughbreds’ 4-year-old homebred Linda, third in the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile for trainer Ian Wilkes. Unplaced in only one of 10 starts and with earnings of $336,110, the 4-year-old Scat Daddy filly typically settles off the early pace before making a late run.

Over the Churchill turf course and at the same distance as the Mint Julep, Linda last year won the grade 2 Mrs. Revere Stakes to complete her sophomore season. The filly began her 2017 campaign with a third in the Honey Fox Stakes (G2T) won by Celestine at Gulfstream Park.

Dona Bruja, a homebred for Ivan Gasparotto’s Dom Felipe stable, will be making her U.S. debut in the Mint Julep after beginning her career in Argentina. Trained by Ignacios Correas, the 5-year-old mare has won eight of 10 starts, with two seconds, including the group 1 Copa de Plata Roberto Vasquez Mansilla Internacional over 1 1/4 miles on turf at San Isidro in her most recent start last December and was named champion older female. She has been with Correas at Keeneland this spring.

Old Forester Mint Julep H. (G3T)

Churchill Downs, Saturday, June 10, 2017, Race 10
  • 1 1/16m
  • Turf
  • $100,000
  • 3 yo’s & up Fillies and Mares
  • 5:21 PM (local)
PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 1Believe in Bertie (LA) Shaun Bridgmohan 122 Brad H. Cox 7/5
2 2Majestic Angel (KY)Keeneland Sales Graduate Joseph Rocco, Jr. 113 Eric R. Reed 30/1
3 3Sky My Sky (KY)Keeneland Sales Graduate Sophie Doyle 116 Mark E. Casse 9/2
4 4Dona Bruja (ARG) Declan Cannon 119 Ignacio Correas, IV 3/1
5 5Lots o’ Lex (KY) Calvin H. Borel 114 Gerald Russel Aschinger 15/1
6 6Dynazar (KY) Gabriel Saez 115 Dallas Stewart 15/1
7 7Linda (KY) Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr. 121 Ian R. Wilkes 5/2