Photo: Benoit Photo
Ultra consistent Judy the Beauty, considered by many
observors the best female sprinter in the country, lived up to her
reputation Sunday with a dominating victory in the featured Grade III
$150,000 Rancho Bernardo Handicap.
Sent postward the 6-5 second choice to the 4-5 favored
defending champion, Reneesgotzip, Judy the Beauty and jockey Mike Smith
bided their time until the stretch where they rallied to win by 1 ¼
lengths in 1:15.63 for the 6 ½ furlongs over Del Mar’s main track while
carrying topweight of 125 pounds.
Worse than third only once in her previous 16 race career
when she fourth in the Humana Distaff on Kentucky Derby Day May 3, her
most recent outing, Judy the Beauty recorded her eighth career triumph.
She also has seven seconds and one third. First money of $90,000
increased her earnings to $1,112,122.
Reneesgotzip, packing 124 pounds and piloted by Corey
Nakatani, was expected to go to the front from the gate. However, her
performance was compromised when she bobbled at the break, conceding the
early lead to the 12-1 longshot, Amaranth.
Reneesgotzip, who hadn’t run since finishing in a deadheat
for second behind champion Mizdirection in the Breeders’ Cup Turf
Sprint last November at Santa Anita, rallied to contend for the lead in
the upper stretch but faltered and wound up third, 2 ¾ lengths behind
runner-up Madame Cactus. Amaranth was fourth and last.
Withdrawn from the original line-up were Fashion Plate and Sagebrush Queen.
Judy the Beauty, a Canadian-bred five-year-old mare by
Ghostzapper, is owned and trained by Wesley Ward. She returned $4.60 and
$2.60, while Madame Cactus paid $3.60 to show. With only four runners,
there was no show wagering.
In the day’s supporting headliner, the $150,000 Solana
Beach Handicap for older California-bred fillies and mares, 9-1 outsider
Heat Du Jour and jockey Kent Desormeaux charged from off the pace to
win by three lengths in 1:34.73 for the mile on the infield grass
Qiaona nosed out 8-5 favored Kathleen Rose for second, with Star Field another half-length back in fourth.
Heat Du Jour, owned by the partnership of trainer Jerry
Hollendorfer, Mark Schlaich and George Todaro, was claimed for $32,000
in late May and earned $85,500 Sunday. The four-year-old Unusual Heat
filly paid $21.40, $8 and $5.20. Qiaona returned $7.60 and $4, while
Kathleen Rose paid $2.80 to show.
In the Pick Six, there were nine perfect tickets and each paid $62,287. .
With a carryover of $106,844 from Saturday and $828,344 in “new” money bet Sunday, the total Pick Six pool was $935,188.
Sunday’s attendance was 14,713.