09/02/2013 9:08PM

Del Mar: Egg Drop by a head in Yellow Ribbon Handicap

Benoit & Associates
Egg Drop (No. 5), with Martin Garcia aboard, wins the Yellow Ribbon Handicap by a head over Appealing on Monday.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Del Mar’s stewards have had several difficult decisions to make this summer, and they might have had their most challenging on Monday in the Grade 2, $151,000 Yellow Ribbon Handicap, in which original winner Egg Drop remained in first after a lengthy inquiry into an incident in deep stretch.

Egg Drop ($8) was first under the wire by a head over 34-1 shot Appealing, but third-place My Gi Gi, who wound up 1 1/2 lengths behind Appealing, took up nearing the wire. It was a challenging sequence to evaluate because Egg Drop appeared to be coming in slightly, and Appealing appeared to be coming out slightly. The specter of a double disqualification certainly loomed.

It took several minutes for the stewards to make their ruling, and they decided, unanimously, that My Gi Gi’s finish position was not compromised by the incident.

So, Egg Drop wound up with the first stakes win of her career. She had finished second in the Grade 2 Royal Heroine Mile at Betfair Hollywood Park in her previous start July 6.

“If they’d have taken her down, it would have broken my heart,” said Mike Mitchell, who trains Egg Drop for the Little Red Feather ownership group. “This was such a big race for us. From the first time I ran her, I thought she could win a stake for us.”

Martin Garcia rode Egg Drop, who was timed in 1:40.50 for 1 1/16 miles on firm turf. She was forwardly placed throughout, tracking pacesetter A Jealous Woman before taking the lead in upper stretch.

Garcia thought Appealing, ridden by Brice Blanc, was at fault, if anyone. Blanc thought it was Garcia and Egg Drop, if anyone.

Garrett Gomez, who rode My Gi Gi, did not agree with the decision, telling trainer Pete Eurton as he watched a head-on view of the stretch, “I’m gonna beat both of them.”

Halo Dolly, the 9-5 favorite, finished fourth. Customer Base was fifth and was followed by Closing Range, Quiet Oasis, A Jealous Woman, and Royal Empress.

Egg Drop, 4, is by Alphabet Soup. She has won four times in 10 starts.