Updated on 09/17/2011 10:31AM

Mandy's Gold kicks in late


BALTIMORE - In a race in which every horse had the lead at one stage, Mandy's Gold made the front when it counted most, running down Summer Colony in the final strides to win Friday's Grade 3, $150,000 Pimlico Breeders' Cup Distaff Handicap by a neck.

It was 3 3/4 lengths back to Stormy Frolic, who finished 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Dance the Slew. Smok'n Frolic, Kiss a Miss, and You'll Be Happy were all scratched.

Mandy's Gold, a 5-year-old daughter of Gilded Time, won for the 11th time in 21 career starts and pushed her earnings to $1,026,244 for Steeplechase Farm.

Jerry Bailey, who was riding Mandy's Gold for the first time, wanted to get her to the front and to the fence. But Dance the Slew and Stormy Frolic outfooted her entering the first turn, and Mandy's Gold did not want to be on the rail.

Dance the Slew led for the opening half-mile, run in 47.71 seconds, before Stormy Frolic took the lead around the far turn. Summer Colony, who was fourth early, circled those two and made the lead in upper stretch.

With Mandy's Gold refusing to go inside, Bailey had to wait until inside the furlong marker to swing her out. Once clear, she kicked in and wore down Summer Colony late.

Mandy's Gold covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:46.32 in the slop and returned $3.60 as the 4-5 favorite.

"I had to wait and wait and wait, and I remembered turning for home at Belmont: Jose [Santos] rode her and everybody went by her, he took her back, and angled out," Bailey said. "It was my only option turning for home; I just didn't know if she'd have enough kick. Pretty special mare to do that."

Trainer Michael Gorham said he would point Mandy's Gold to the Grade 1, $300,000 Ogden Phipps Handicap at Belmont Park on June 21.

Summer Colony, who won this race last year by a nose, was making her first start since finishing last in the Breeders' Cup Distaff. Despite the loss, trainer Mark Hennig was pleased with his mare's return performance.

"I felt like we had her as fit as we could have her, but obviously I felt she ran out of air that last sixteenth," Hennig said. "I think on a normal racetrack she would have been fine, but when they go a mile in [1:39.78] the track's a little bit off."

Funny Cide arrives early

Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide arrived for Saturday's Preakness Stakes at about 1:45 p.m. on Friday, approximately 16 hours earlier than scheduled.

Trainer Barclay Tagg said the nasty weather that hit the Baltimore area on Friday morning - and which was headed to New York later in the day - prompted his decision to change travel plans. Tagg said he made the decision to ship at 8 a.m. Friday. The horse was put on a van at 9:20 a.m.

"With the weather the way it is, I didn't want to take any chances," Tagg said in a Friday afternoon news conference in the Pimlico press box.

Funny Cide was stabled on the backstretch in Barn 3, with Mary Eppler's horses. Tagg said it is likely he will send Funny Cide out Saturday morning for a jog.

Forest Heiress takes The Very One

When Friday's The Very One Stakes at Pimlico was moved from the turf to the dirt, leaving a mere six runners, the outcome was virtually predetermined. Forest Heiress, an accomplished female sprinter who had never raced on turf, became the standout favorite, a position she lived up to by rallying for a seven-length victory in the five-furlong race.

Forest Heiress ($3.40) sat in third while New Year's Eve Gala and Maria's Mirage battled through fractions of 22.13 seconds and 45.63 for the opening half-mile. Jockey Pat Day took Forest Heiress to the rail for the stretch run, and she closed powerfully to rush past her rivals.

Forest Heiress covered the distance in 57.72 seconds on the sloppy main track.

Maria's Mirage outdueled New Year's Eve Gala to finish second by 1 3/4 lengths.

Rainy repeat for Preakness?

John Passero, the Maryland Jockey Club's track superintendent, boldly guaranteed early Friday afternoon that the track would be fast by the time the Preakness was run at 6:12 p.m. Saturday. Outside, it was still pouring and had been all morning, with the rainy weather forecast throughout the afternoon and into Saturday morning.

Passero felt confident because he has done this so many times before. Last year, rain fell all Friday and on Saturday morning. Yet just before the gates opened for the Preakness, the Pimlico surface was labeled fast, and though some skeptics shook their heads, horsemen agreed that the track was dry.

"If the rain stops, like it did last year, it will only take an hour, an hour and a half, for that moisture to just disappear, and it will recover pretty fast," Passero said. "This track can bounce back like crazy. It's a great racetrack."

On Thursday night, just after the race card ended, the track was sealed with 5-ton rollers and 15-ton water trucks. Passero used the same procedure last year on the Thursday before the Preakness, when the forecast called for heavy rain.

This year, the forecast was for the rain to stop at 4 or 5 p.m. Friday, Passero said, with light rain possible on Saturday morning. Total rainfall was expected to be about 2 inches.

* Belong to Sea ($11.40) began the weekend well for trainer Lisa Lewis, scoring a narrow victory in Thursday's $100,000 Miss Preakness Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. Lewis was to saddle Kissin Saint in Saturday's Preakness Stakes.

* Jockey Ryan Fogelsonger took off his mounts on Friday's card at Pimlico because of a bruised hand, but he still intended to ride on Saturday, when his mounts were to include Cherokee's Boy in the Preakness. Fogelsonger bruised his right hand when his mount in Thursday's Miss Preakness Stakes, Pompamento, reared in the gate before the start.

- additional reporting by Matt Hegarty and Jay Privman