08/23/2008 11:00PM

Dearest Trickski captures Rancho Bernardo

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DEL MAR, Calif. - As a confirmed front-runner, Dearest Trickski is proving to be nearly impossible to catch.

In Sunday’s $200,000 Rancho Bernardo Handicap, the speedy 4-year-old filly won her fourth stakes in the last year, leading throughout. Ridden by Mike Smith, Dearest Trickski ($6.20) held off a late run from Tiz Elemental to win by a nose, finishing 6 1/2 furlongs in a track-record time of 1:15.17.

The victory earned Dearest Trickski an automatic berth to the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita on Oct. 24. The Rancho Bernardo was part of the Breeders’ Cup’s Win and You’re In program.

Smith credited the start for Dearest Trickski’s victory.

“She flew out of there,” he said.

Dearest Trickski set fractions of 22.50 and 44.68 seconds. She led by 1 1/2 lengths at the eighth pole and was fully extended to win.

“I thought the first quarter was realistic,” trainer John Sadler said. “She ran hard, as usual.”

La Tee finished third in the field of nine fillies and mares. Magnificience, the 3-2 favorite, finished fifth.

Dearest Trickski, by Proudest Romeo, races for Tom Mankiewicz and has won 11 of 16 starts and $660,108.