Updated on 09/17/2011 12:56PM

Ema Bovary dominates in Orinda Handicap

Vassar Photo
Ema Bovary wins the Orinda Handicap Saturday at Golden Gate Fields.

ALBANY, Calif. - Odds-on favorite Ema Bovary ($2.80) survived a rough trip down the backstretch, sliced through an opening at the top of the lane and won the $62,600 Orinda Handicap at Golden Gate Fields on Saturday.

The 5-year-old Chilean-bred mare defeated Christmas Time by two lengths in the six-furlong race, covering the distance in 1:08.59. Pheiffer was third another length back.

Ema Bovary was last early as rival jockeys seemed intent on preventing her from getting position.

"It was kinda my fault," winning jockey Roberto Gonzalez said. "I didn't want to put her into the race right away. They were all race riding and had me pinned in pretty good. Dennis (Carr aboard Christmas Time) came down right away, and Chance (Rollins aboard Christmas Time's stablemate Viansa Ossidiana) came up beside me and got the spot I wanted to go."

Gonzalez steadied, and Ema Bovary seemed impatient while stuck behind horses into the turn. Gonzalez waited and when he got an opening to the inside, he quickly got into prime stalking position.

Ema Bovary made a quick move in the lane to split Christmas Time and Pheiffer, easily getting between them as the hole narrowed. Once she got clear, the race was over.

"She's a racehorse. She goes through anything," Gonzalez said. "I tapped her on the shoulder, and she went right through."

Trainer Larry Ross, who had considered running in Sunday's Grade 1 Santa Monica at Santa Anita, said, "That worked out well. We got to stay home and got a good race. She had trouble, but when there's an opening, she just goes through."

Ema Bovary's seventh straight victory was worth $33,700, lifting her career total to $233,562 with 10 victories in 15 starts.

There was a $22,038.19 minus show pool with $127,969 of the $145,484.70 in the show pool bet on Ema Bovary.