01/13/2007 1:00AM

Guiding Hand all the way


Guiding Hand went gate-to-wire to post a mild upset in Sunland's $50,000 Winsham Lad Handicap Saturday. The 4-year-old son of Helmsman, owned by Frontier Stables LLC and Joey Davis and trained by Chris Hartman, went into the mile event off two wins in his previous three starts. Sent off at 7-2, he dueled for the early lead in the field of 11 older horses, spurted clear on the far turn, and was never really threatened, reporting home 3 1/2 lengths clear under Ken Tohill.

He paid $9.40 as the second choice in the wagering and the winner's share of $30,000 pushes his career earnings to $115,392 from 5 wins in 14 starts.

Real Dandy, far back early from a wide post and boxed in on the far turn, rallied smartly to be second. Takin Issue stalked the pace and kept on decently to be third. Mr. Trieste, previously unbeaten here in four starts and the heavy even-money favorite, sat in midpack, got shuffled back on the turn, and ran out an even fifth.

Guiding Hand covered the mile in 1:38.45.