Updated on 08/22/2012 1:53PM

Del Mar: Winding Way overcomes horrendous start to win Rancho Bernardo

Benoit & Associates
Winding Way, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, stamps herself a contender for the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint by winning the Rancho Bernardo.

DEL MAR, Calif. – With just two prior starts, Winding Way was put in a difficult spot in the Grade 3, $150,000 Rancho Bernardo Handicap at Del Mar on Sunday, and then she proceeded to make the task all the more challenging by getting off well behind the field.

But in a stunning display of raw talent, Winding Way managed to overcome that poor start and six other rivals by rallying to capture the Rancho Bernardo, the championship main-track sprint of the meet for older fillies and mares.

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And just for good measure, she had to survive a stewards’ inquiry, called because third-place Rumor had to slightly check as Winding Way blew past her in the stretch.

“How to give a trainer a heart attack in three easy steps,” a relieved Carla Gaines, the trainer of Winding Way, said when the race was official.

Gaines said that when Winding Way got left behind at the start, “I was hoping to hit the board at that stage.”

“That’s a massive recovery,” she said.

Winding Way ($4.80), favored off her fast, front-running wins against maidens and a first-level allowance field, was 9 1/2 lengths behind after a quarter-mile, but swooped the field under Rafael Bejarano and caught Sugarinthemorning just before the wire to win by a half-length. Rumor was another 1 1/4 lengths back in third and was followed, in order, by Indian Gracey, Moonstruck Maya, Glamorista, and Home Sweet Aspen.

Winding Way completed 6 1/2 furlongs on Polytrack in 1:15.93.

Bejarano was winning his 10th stakes race of the meet, two shy of the single-season record for jockeys. There are still more than two weeks left in the meet.

The Spendthrift Farm of B. Wayne Hughes bred and owns Winding Way, a daughter of Malibu Moon. Gaines said the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 2 is now a long-range goal.

“We were testing her in a graded race in case she’s a Breeders’ Cup horse,” Gaines said. “She’s getting closer.”

Halo Dolly repeats in Solana Beach

It’s so nice to have Halo Dolly back where she belongs.

Halo Dolly, the winner of last year’s Solana Beach Handicap, defended her title on Sunday by rallying from last to first to beat seven older older California-bred fillies and mares in the $100,000 grass race.

Under jockey Joe Talamo, Halo Dolly ($8.80) came charging down the center of the course and beat Unusual Hottie by a half-length, with Sparkling Style another 1 1/4 lengths back in third.

Antares World, the 2-1 favorite, was fifth.

Halo Dolly completed one mile on firm turf in 1:34.43 and earned her 12th win from 21 starts. She is 2 for 3 at Del Mar.

“When she will settle, like she did today, whether it’s on the front end or behind, she runs her race,” said Jerry Hollendorfer, who trains Halo Dolly and is a co-owner of the 4-year-old filly.




james More than 1 year ago
The point being missed here is that if Gomez keeps Rumor STRAIGHT, the winner has to tussle with her and loses momentum, and sugar WINS. Even a slight rebump and sugar wins. I wonder if the rider of Sugar could reclaim an objection on this premise... The Del Mar Stewards, the pompous trash they are, saw an undefeated possible star and figured who are they to stop the bandwagon. Hey, stewards, stewardship is why you are there, get it? Oh, and I almost forgot, you are spineless trash as well.
Ron Walker More than 1 year ago
James, I'll take a flyer and bet that you had a bet that lost on this one. I once lost a monster trifecta after a 15 minute stewards inquiry that resulted in the 3rd placed horse being placed 4th so I am somewhat sympathetic. I never expect them to do anything that will add a dime to my wallet. I also never expect to win the head bobs either. That's why being a cynic beats being an optimist. You don't get disappointed. Capt. Ron
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Poor Sugarinthemorning. She just keeps coming in 2nd.
Vince Lentini More than 1 year ago
Great performance but should have DEFINITELY come done as Rumor was clearly compromised and easily could have been second without the trouble
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Do not know what the fastest time this meet at 6 1/2 is but figure WW was about 1:14.3 or 4 which would've set track record. Keep her healthy, get a start on dirt and maybe just maybe Groupie Doll will have to bring that CD race to win F&M sprint.
AZ Wildcat More than 1 year ago
The track record for 6.5f is 1:14.93, Winding Way ran 1:15.93, exactly a second behind the record.
Jerome Moynihan More than 1 year ago
The film was decisive and the stewards made the right call. let's not disparage a great effort from an obviously talented mare,anytime you can spot SUGARINTHEMORNING ten lengths and catch her going short you are allowed to begin thinking breeder's cup. Halo Dolly gave her usual best.and is as honest as they come. All in all a nice day at the races if you shared the melon-cutting in the first race.
Gee More than 1 year ago
This isnt Europe when ur in front u can put the horse in whatever path u want. Great try Go Go.
Marcelo Rivadeneira More than 1 year ago
Don't understand how anyone with any kind of sense can think that the stewards made a mistake. Rumor was not making up ground on Sugarinthemorning. Sugarinthemorning was not stopping, Winding Way was simply blowing by her. Had she been unimpeded, Rumor was not going to pass Sugarinthemorning. Sorry folks, nothing to see here other than a very talented 3 yo filly making her way onto the scene late in the year.
Vince Lentini More than 1 year ago
Marcelo , you and I must have watched a different race as Rumor made up MUCH ground . Rumor was 4 and 1/2 behind Sugar at the 1/8th pole and missed getting her by 1 and1/4 lenghts. I think the trouble cost her at least 1/5th of a second...
Mark More than 1 year ago
Rumor (3rd place horse) finished only a length behind the 2nd place horse and Gomez had to stand straight up and yank the horse back in the middle of the stretch. Without question, Rumor lost 2nd due to Bejarano cutting her off but because it was the meet's top jockey and a Graded stakes race, the stewards allowed the human connections to influence their decision and made a HORRIBLE no call. If this kind of thing happened in a claiming race, the horse comes down EVERY SINGLE TIME. At the Breeders Cup, the stewards did the same thing with Goldikova when they allowed her to remain 3rd. If Patrick Valenzuela rode Winding Way, do you believe the stewards would have let the decision stand? Those Del Mar stewards are ABSOLUTELY CORRUPT. Some sort of computer program needs to be put into place that won't show bias and those stewards need to be replaced.
Gee More than 1 year ago
Dude ur wako, without the poor start the horse wins by 10.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Gee, you're the one who is whacko. The horses poor start has nothing to do with it. It is obvious that Winding Way was tons the best but the fact remains that Bejarano veered sharply inwards in the stretch totally taking the path of Rumor causing Rumor's jockey (Gomez) to stand straight up and yank the horse back. Even with the trouble, Rumor still flew late and only lost 2nd by a length. WITHOUT QUESTION, Rumor would have gotten 2nd if she wasn't impeded and thus she was cost a better placing and Winding Way has to be DQ'ed. The stewards took Winding Way's poor start into account and didn't want to take DQ a horse who was tons the best in a Graded stakes. The problem is the only thing that matters was she impeded another horse and cost that horse 2nd. In order for horse racing to be trusted, the stewards have to be consistent in their rulings and they clearly aren't. All 3 of those Del Mar stewards need to be REPLACED.
Vince Lentini More than 1 year ago
B More than 1 year ago
Best horse won, but kinda surprised she was not disqualified. Always dislike seeing the best horse taken down when the horse interfered with hadn't a chance of winning even without the interference, so I am okay with it.
Tiny Montgomery More than 1 year ago
Wow, missed break, five wide entering, drifted in while on the wrong lead down the stretch, big time effort. Full sis to Kauai Katie has a big future. At the start I thought we might get a quadruple carryover in the pick 6, probably plenty of singles on this one.