Updated on 09/17/2011 10:09AM

Ema Bovary edges Lacie Girl


ALBANY, Calif. - Ema Bovary ($9.40) made no mistakes as she held off the determined charge of odds-on favorite by a nose to win the at Golden Gate Fields on Sunday.

The Chilean-bred filly, an October foal who is still to celebrate her actual third birthday, wheeled coming out of the gate to be eliminated in her U.S. debut in the Richmond Handicap on Feb. 16. Trailing by 19 after the opening quarter, she made up nearly 14 lengths by the end of the race won by Lacie Girl.

She broke sharply in the Soviet Problem and was content to lay third early. With pacesetting Onslaught running well off the rail, jockey Roberto Gonzalez let Ema Bovary rush through the opening to take the lead into the turn. She opened by two into the stretch and held off the determined charge of Lacie Girl, who broke from the rail but was very wide the whole race. The winning time was 1:08.88.

"She broke terrific," Gonzalez said. "I don't know what (Onslaught) was doing running that far off the rail. Maybe they were worried about the shadows.

"I could have taken the lead, but I had made my mind up to lay third. I moved a little early because I wanted to get through inside before they shut it down. She got a little bit tired the last part because I used her early."

Russell Baze, losing for the first time in seven starts aboard Lacie Girl, said simply, "We just lost too much ground."

Ema Bovary, purchased from Chile for $60,000 by Richard T. Beal, earned $33,500 to increase her earnings to $49,022 with four wins in nine starts.