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Winding Way Brilliant in Rancho Bernardo

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Favored Winding Way, with Rafael Bejarano aboard for his tenth stakes victory of the season, gave her backers serious reason for concern when she broke a distant last in Sunday’s featured $150,000 Rancho Bernardo Handicap, a 6 ½ furlong sprint for older fillies and mares.

Not to worry, however, as the brilliant, undefeated daughter of Malibu Moon, the only three-year-old in the field, rallied widest of all in the stretch to run past pacesetting Sugarinthemorning in the final sixteenth and win by a half-length going away in a most impressive performance. As a result of  her slow beginning, Winding Way was 9 ½ lengths in arrears after a quarter-mile, in stark contrast to her two previous races which she led from start to finish.

Sugarinthemorning, who cruised to the lead under Martin Garcia, was a clear second, 1 ¼ lengths ahead of third-place Rumor, 3-1 second choice. Fourth was Indian Gracey in the field of seven.

The stewards conducted an inquiry into an incident that occurred in midstretch when Winding Way bore in on Rumor, causing jockey Garrett Gomez to take up. The stewards ruled that the mishap did not affect the order of finish and allowed the result to stand.

Winding Way, owned by the Spendthrift Farm of B. Wayne Hughes and trained by Carla Gaines, went to the gate a solid 7-5 favorite by virtue of two easy wins, by 4 ¾ lengths in a maiden race at Hollywood Park June 10 and then an equally easy score by 7 ¼ lengths at Del Mar July 21. She returned $4.80, $3.40 and $2.60 while earning $90,000 for her first stakes success and now has a bankroll of $163,800.

Sugarinthemorning paid $4.20 and $2.60, while Rumor returned $2.80 to show.

In Sunday’s supporting feature, the $100,000 Solana Beach Handicap for California-bred fillies and mares, Halo Dolly made it two straight in the one-mile grass event, rallying from the rear of the pack to win by a half-length in 1:34.43. Joe Talamo, who won the race a year ago aboard the daughter of Popular, was in the saddle again Sunday.

Unusual Hottie, with Gomez up, was a game runner-up, 1 ¼ lengths in front of third-place Sparkling Style, with noses separating Blendara and fifth-place Antares World, the 2-1 favorite.

Halo Dolly, owned by Hoefflin, Tahajian and Todaro and trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, was second choice at 3-1 and paid $8.80, $4.40 and $3.20 after notching her 12th victory in 21 starts. She earned $57,000 Sunday to increase her money total to $473,396.

Unusual Hottie returned $5.40 and $3.40, while Sparkling Style paid $3.80 to show.

With a two-day carryover of $442,770 and $2,244, 481 in “new” money bet Sunday on the Pick Six, there was a total pool of $2,687,251. There were18 perfect tickets and each paid $91,156.60.

Sunday’s attendance was 16,073.



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Older Comments about Winding Way Brilliant in Rancho Bernardo...

Winding Way caught the eyes of many after an impressive Rancho Bernardo Handicap score. She traveled 48 feet more than second place finisher Sugarinthemorning, which equates to roughly 5.5 lengths of added ground coverage. Her final ¼ was 1.01 seconds faster than the second placer, and 0.55 seconds faster than third-placer Rumor.
That was a huge effort. She is targeting the BC F&M Sprint.

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