06/30/2007 12:00AM

Carbella overcomes poor beginning

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PLEASANTON, Calif. – Carbella, almost eliminated when leaving the gate, rallied strongly through the lane to capture the $53,017 Juan Gonzalez Memorial on Saturday at the Alameda County Fair.

Carbella, who had been on the lead every step of the way in her first two races, was “annihilated” at the start of the five-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies, according to jockey Chad Schvaneveldt.

"She broke slowly, and the six [Two Thirds Victory] completely annihilated me," Schvaneveldt said. "I knew I'd have to take back and make one run. I didn't try to rush because I wanted to make sure I had room when I asked her."

While Schvaneveldt was forced to bide his time, Sassy Blend was cruising two lengths in front of the field, but she tired badly in the lane and was easily passed by Livia La Vida Loca and Carbella, with Carbella edging away from Livia La Vida Loca to win by three-quarters of a length in 58.01.Carbella paid $4.60.

"My only concern was she didn't change leads, but when Livia La Vida Loca came out, it forced her to" Schvaneveldt said.

Carbella, disqualified from a victory in her debut, has now won two of three starts. She was a $5,500 yearling purchase for Firsthome Thoroughbreds, Chessher, Liedel, Et Al.