Updated on 09/16/2011 9:15AM

Mandy's Gold upsets Ruffian

Mandy's Gold and Jose Santos pull an upset in the Ruffian Handicap at Belmont on Saturday. It was her first race beyond a mile.

ELMONT, N.Y. - The Breeders' Cup Distaff picked up an unlikely starter Saturday when the usually speedy Mandy's Gold rallied from last to win the $300,000, Grade 1 by 2 1/4 lengths before 8,819 at Belmont Park.

You, part of an early pace duel with Raging Fever, finished second, 2 1/2 lengths ahead of Shine Again. Minister's Baby and Raging Fever, the 9-5 favorite, completed the order of finish in the 1 1/16-mile race.

Mandy's Gold, a 4-year-old Gilded Time filly who had never raced beyond a mile, gave trainer Michael Gorham his first Grade 1 victory and will next try to stretch out to nine furlongs in the Breeders' Cup Distaff at Arlington Park on Oct. 26.

"I hope to be in Chicago the last weekend in October," said owner John Gorham, Michael's brother. "If all goes well, we'd like to go for the Distaff."

The only other time Mandy's Gold raced beyond seven furlongs was in the 2001 Comely Stakes at a mile in which she finished first but was disqualified for interference.

"She's a much better horse now than she was when she was 3," Michael Gorham said. "She's always shown she can rate."

Despite her penchant for racing on the lead, Gorham was convinced his filly could rate. He told jockey Jose Santos as much during a prerace meeting Saturday morning. Santos, riding Mandy's Gold for the first time, watched several of Mandy's Gold's races and thought her off-the-pace win in the Sweet and Sassy Stakes at Delaware Park was her best performance.

Santos found it easy to wrangle Mandy's Gold off the pace as You, under Jerry Bailey, and Raging Fever, under John Velazquez, dueled through fractions of 22.64 seconds and 45.25. Mandy's Gold was last, but only two lengths off the lead at that point.

You put away Raging Fever around the turn, but Mandy's Gold swooped past her approaching the eighth pole and drew off convincingly. She covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.57, returning $19.80 as the longest shot in the five-horse field.

You did well to hold second after dueling with Raging Fever, who was done in upper stretch.

"This is going to sound crazy, but the only thing I would have done differently if I had to do it over again is I would have made her run faster," Bailey said. "She's not the kind of filly you can clamp down. You can take only so much hold of her and she's not effective anymore."