Bumble of Love defended her title in the 19th running of the $100,000 Peony Stakes Wednesday at Horseshoe Indianapolis in Shelbyville. Guided by Rodney Prescott, the mare earned her second straight win in the one and one-sixteenth mile turf event.
Starting from post 12 left Prescott with an early decision to duck over to the inside into ninth place in the full field of 12. Early speed horse Southern Smile and Orlando Mojica set the tempo joined by Mintchocolatechip and Joe Ramos just to their outside in the early stages of the race. As the field entered the final turn, horses began to bunch up and it was anybody’s race from there to the wire.
Bumble of Love swung widest of all, and once she hit the stretch, she found another gear to accelerate to the lead, scoring the win by three-quarters of a length over Louder than Words and Sammy Bermudez, who also closed gamely. Timeless Rose and Fernando De La Cruz finished third.
Bumble of Love paid $9.60 for the win. The five-year-old daughter of Hampton Court is owned by Andrew Ritter and trained by Brian Michael. Her repeat victory in the Peony Stakes is her second stakes win in 22 starts and she now has just under $300,000 in career earnings. Prescott has ridden her to all but one of her seven career wins.
“I’m ecstatic,” said Michael, who has campaigned the mare her entire career. “She ran fantastic today and is now five for seven over this turf. She is one of the most dependable horses I’ve ever had and has kept this ‘mom and pop’ stable going. She’s what you call an ‘ATM’ horse. We plan to come back and defend her title for the third time next year.”
Ritter has also had Bumble of Love since she began racing. He is co-breeder with Ledgelands LLC, and Beatrice Ingham on the Indiana bred mare.
“We are just thrilled,” said Ritter. “My wife, Shelly, and I couldn’t be happier with how this mare has raced for us.”