07/09/2004 11:00PM

Ema Bovary beats Bear Fan

Skip Smith
Ema Bovary, third choice in a field of six, won her 10th race in 11 starts by defeating Bear Fan in the Grade 2 Princess Rooney Handicap.

MIAMI - Ema Bovary proved her victory over Bear Fan last fall at Hollywood Park was not a fluke when she shipped cross-country to once again defeat that rival in Saturday's $500,000 . The Grade 2 Princess Rooney was the featured race on Saturday's $1.75 million Summit of Speed program, which drew a crowd of 9,698 at Calder.

Ema Bovary came into the six-furlong Princess Rooney having won nine of her last 10 starts, her lone defeat during that span having come in her previous outing, when she finished a troubled second in Hollywood Park's Grade 3 Desert Stormer Handicap. Bear Fan entered the Princess Rooney off a pair of easy Grade 2 victories at Belmont Park, including a nine-length win in the Vagrancy Handicap.

As expected, Lady Tak and Bear Fan contested the early pace, with Ema Bovary racing four lengths farther back and on the outside under regular rider Roberto Gonzalez. Bear Fan, the 4-5 favorite under high weight of 122 pounds, forged to a narrow advantage in early stretch, where she was joined by Ema Bovary to her outside. The two dueled through deep stretch and Ema Bovary gradually gained the upper hand, edging away to a two-length decision.

Lady Tak finished a tiring third, 3 3/4 lengths behind Bear Fan. Mary Murphy, who was put in tight quarters and steadied approaching the far turn, finished fourth, followed by Puxa Saco and Harmony Lodge.

Ema Bovary is a 5-year-old daughter of Edgy Diplomat. She is stabled at Golden Gate Fields, where she is trained by Larry Ross for owners Richard Beal Jr. and Lana Ramsey-Borg. Ema Bovary paid $9.20 as the third choice in the field of filly and mare sprint specialists after covering six furlongs in 1:10.81 over a fast and cuppy racetrack.

Ema Bovary completed the all stakes pick five, which paid $18,409 for a $1 ticket. The winning combination was 10-3-4-1-6.

"She kind of got sucked down on the inside in her last start and never had a chance to run her race," Ross said. "Today she drew the outside, was in the clear, and just ran her race. She isn't eligible for the Breeders' Cup, so you can say this was her Breeders' Cup."