05/29/2009 11:00PM

Marina Ballerina overcomes


Marina Ballerina figured to have an easy time once the $55,000 Cool Air Stakes was switched from the turf to a sloppy main track and two-time defending champion Charlie Papa scratched out of the overnight stakes. But that was not the case. Marina Ballerina stumbled leaving the gate and had to overcome a nightmare trip to post a brave half-length decision over Bereba in the five-furlong Cool Air.

Marina Ballerina was expected to control the pace in the Cool Air but found herself near the the rear of the seven-horse field following her unlucky start. Things would only get worse during the opening quarter-mile. She rushed up along the rail and then took up sharply when unable to find room inside Bereba heading into the far turn.

Jockey Eduaro Nunez angled Marina Ballerina outside rivals once he got her back in stride on the turn, they joined the leaders while widest turning for home, and she outgamed both Bereba and Rate of Exchange to register her first victory since July 2008 at Woodbine.

Bereba, making her first start since Jan. 3, tripped out nicely along the inside behind the leaders, split rivals with her closing bid, and just failed. Rate of Exchange gained a short advantage entering the stretch and held off Marina Ballerina for most of the final furlong.

Marina Ballerina, a 5-year-old daughter of Outflanker, is trained by Kirk Ziadie for owner Robert L. Pastor. She covered five furlongs in 59.43 seconds and paid $3.

Marina Ballerina could return in the Grade 1 Princess Rooney Handicap here July 11.