10/15/2001 12:00AM

Cindy's a Hero in Ramser


ARCADIA, Calif. - More than a year after her last win, Cindy's Hero revived her career with a thrilling victory in Sunday's $110,500 Harold Ramser, Sr. Handicap for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita.

Cindy's Hero ($8.40) closed from fifth at the top of the stretch to catch an unlucky Gabriellina Giof by a nose, finishing a mile on turf in 1:33.70.

Walts Wharf, the longtime pacesetter, finished third, a half-length in front of Love Roi, the even-money favorite who was out of contention at the eighth pole.

Ridden by Garrett Gomez, Cindy's Hero was sixth for the first half of the race, well behind Walts Wharf, who set fractions of 23.12 and 45.92 seconds.

Cindy's Hero rallied wide to reach contention in early stretch, and showed a tremendous turn of foot to catch Gabriellina Giof, who had a two-length lead in the final furlong.

Trainer David Hofmans was not surprised that Cindy's Hero rallied from the back of the field.

"That's her running style, but I thought she'd be closer with no speed in the race," he said.

The Ramser was Cindy's Hero's third start on turf, preceded by two third-place finishes in allowance races at Del Mar. Last year, Cindy's Hero broke her maiden in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante and later finished fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Owned by Elizabeth and Tom Baxter, Cindy's Hero was scratched from the Lady's Secret Breeders' Cup Handicap on Sept. 29 in favor of Sunday's race.

"We wanted to run against 3-year-old fillies," Hofmans said. "I worked her on turf the other day and she went lights out."