07/31/2010 9:00PM

Christmas Ship nips stablemate You Lift Me Up in Luther Burbank


SANTA ROSA, Calif. – It looked as if the connections for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer would make it to the winner’s circle as favored You Lift Me Up split leaders Ms. G.I. Jane and Lady Railrider in deep stretch in the $59,950 Luther Burbank Handicap at the Sonoma County Fair on Saturday.

The Hollendorfer connections did make it to the winner’s circle but with Christmas Ship ($15.20), who swung outside the three leaders after stablemate You Lift Me Up passed her and got her nose to the wire first in the final stride for a mild upset.

Leslie Mawing swung out Christmas Ship after she was passed, and the 5-year-old mare found a new gear in the final 70 yards to win the 1 1/16-mile turf race in 1:43.23. You Lift Me Up was three-quarters of a length in front of comebacking Lady Railrider, who re-rallied to edge Ms. G.I. Jane by a head for third.

Lady Railrider sat behind the fast fractions of Markmelauras before sticking her head in front nearing the quarter pole. Ms. G.I. Jane moved up outside and took the lead in the stretch before You Lift Me Up shot between her and Lady Railrider to take the lead briefly between calls.

Christmas Ship, owned by Mary Jo Amlie, Hollendorfer, and George Todaro, earned $33,050 for her second stakes victory of the year and fifth win in 35 starts. She has career earnings of $267,870.