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Thursday, 20 August 2015 10:25

La Verdad Ready for Primetime

By | Sports

Lady Sheila Stable Looks to Score Grade I Victory on Travers Day

SARATOGA SPRINGS – If you want a tip for Travers Day, bet on the Ballerina in the Ballerina.

 

Lady Sheila Stable’s La Verdad is pointing towards a Grade I score in the Ballerina Stakes on Travers Day, August 29. Should that happen, it would be another major milestone for rising star Lady Sheila Stable. 

 

Owner Sheila Rosenblum has, in short order, put together a winning coalition with her own stable, as well as syndications (Lady Sheila Stable Two and Triumphant Trio) that have emphasized female ownership at its core, in what is often a male-dominated industry. Having achieved great success as a Wilhelmina and Ford Agency model, with training at both The Royal Ballet School in London and the School of American Ballet, Ms. Rosenblum has set her sights on achieving success with what she described as “…four-legged ballet dancers. I have a good eye for conformation because of ballet,” she said, laughing, “I know a good leg when I see one!” The key element in her success to date has been a partnership with leading trainer Linda Rice.

 

“I looked for a New York trainer and was impressed with Linda’s determination when we met three years ago,” Rosenblum stated. “She drove all night to meet with me and said, ‘I promise you will feel victory’, and she has delivered. It’s a perfect partnership. Linda is a magician with horses in every aspect - race placement, training and workouts. I like to refer to us as a dynamic duo! Linda and I certainly have different personalities – she likes to say ‘I’m the workhorse and she’s the show horse’ – but we mix together perfectly.” Rice is also a “full-fledged partner” in Rosenblum’s all-female syndicates.   

 

Indeed, La Verdad (a 5-year-old mare who is a New York-bred daughter of Yes It's True) is truly the star of Lady Sheila Stable, and her record this season is a testament to Linda Rice’s skillful handling. After about a 100-day rest period following her 4-year-old season, La Verdad has come back with a vengeance: undefeated in four starts, including two Grade II’s, a Grade III and a Stakes Race. Her latest score was an important July 29 victory over the Saratoga Race Course oval in the Grade II $200,000 Honorable Miss, in which leading Jockey Jose Ortiz sent La Verdad to the front and never looked back, achieving a wire-to-wire victory in a sizzling 1:09.14 for six furlongs. Among those left in La Verdad’s wake was last year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint winner Judy the Beauty. 

 

La Verdad now has 14 victories in 20 starts, earning well over $1 million dollars. $1,170,000 - to be exact. And that’s The Truth – which, by the way, is the English translation of La Verdad’s name. Also true is that it sets up La Verdad for a big run for what Rosenblum calls “that elusive Grade I victory” in the Ballerina, with a purse of $500,000 at a distance of 7 furlongs. 

 

“As a result of a lot of hard work, the support of my family (daughter Kara and son Erik), developing a plan with Linda and sticking to it – a product of my Swiss heritage (laughing) – my dreams are becoming reality,” Rosenblum said. 

 

Sheila Rosenblum’s frequent trips to the winner’s circle were, in fact, just a dream prior to acquiring La Verdad and teaming up with Linda Rice. Call their success the result of a combination of mercurial energy and discipline. That success soon led to a desire to share the experience with others, leading to the formation of syndicates whose members are women that run the gamut from Hollywood to housewife (“THE most underrated occupation,” she said). “It’s great to share the spotlight, and the thrill of these magnificent animals,” Rosenblum noted. “We’ve all become an extended family.” 

 

Regardless of the Ballerina Stakes’ outcome, it is clear that Lady Sheila Stable and its extended family have danced their way onto racing’s biggest stage, and don’t plan to leave anytime soon.  

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