07/21/2013 8:44PM

Del Mar: Wishing Gate rallies to take San Clemente Handicap

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Benoit & Associates
Wishing Gate and jockey Gary Stevens won the Grade 2 San Clemente Handicap by 1 3/4 lengths Sunday.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Wishing Gate has raced in Illinois, California, and Kentucky and has won in both California and Illinois, but it’s Del Mar where she seems to do best. She won against maidens in her first start on turf last year at age 2, and in her first start here this year, she rallied to win the Grade 2, $151,000 San Clemente Handicap for 3-year-old turf fillies.

Wishing Gate ($12) got an ideal trip under jockey Gary Stevens, who was able to save ground throughout before Wishing Gate launched a rally that brought her from fifth to first in the final half-mile. She won going away by 1 3/4 lengths over Unusual Way, with 8-5 favorite Iotapa another 1 1/4 lengths back in third.

Wishing Gate was timed in 1:33.58 for one mile on firm turf.

The win was particularly satisfying for Stevens, who endured some good-natured ribbing from trainer Tom Proctor leading up to the race. Stevens had ridden Wishing Gate just once previously, in an allowance race at Keeneland in April, and got her in more trouble than Lindsay Lohan, leading Proctor to joke that he put Stevens back on for the San Clemente “because he rode her so good at Keeneland.”

“It was nice to get back on her after I butchered her in that allowance race,” Stevens said.

After that debacle at Keeneland in her 2013 debut, Wishing Gate was second in an allowance race at Arlington before winning at that condition in an optional claimer. Proctor then sent her to Del Mar.

“Even though she won last time, I think she likes this course a lot more,” said Proctor, who said Wishing Gate would come back in the Grade 1, $300,000 Del Mar Oaks on Aug. 17.

Wishing Gate is a homebred for the Glen Hill Farm of Leonard Lavin and his grandson, Craig Bernick. She is by Indian Charlie and is out of the Repriced mare Rich in Spirit.

jttf More than 1 year ago
like i have said for years now. california stewards can not be trusted. it is a business to them. the track makes more money with a carryover in the pick 6. they are all goofs on a roof.
Walter More than 1 year ago
Another terrible call by the SoCal stewards in the 9th race at Dmr. How can they take down the 6? He did nothing wrong. This terrible call cost some player $280,000 in the pick six! (It wasn't me) this injustice has to stop. I ask that all concerned players contact the CHRB to voice your opinion. You can email board members at the link below http://www.chrb.ca.gov/index.html
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
I bet Wishing Well and Cosmic Heat today. I just got home and saw she ran 3rd. I didn't know she was DQ'd. That sucks!
Raul Perez More than 1 year ago
Crooks! I had a 1.50 pk 4 ending with that 6...damn that hurt also had 50 bucks win place on the 6
Robert More than 1 year ago
Why would you bet $50 to win on the horse if you were already going to win thousands on the pick 4? Seems fishy to me.
akhiym james More than 1 year ago
Because he knew he had a winner and wanted to make more money off the win and place