06/24/2012 7:24AM

Pleasanton: Munnings Sister romps in California Wine Stakes

Vassar Photography
Munnings Sister, ridden by Francisco Duran, uses her speed to score a front-running victory in the California Wine Stakes.

Munnings Sister, who won her maiden in wire-to-wire style at the Alameda County Fair last year, scored her first stakes victory in wire-to-wire style Saturday, winning the $55,000 California Wine Stakes.

A pace duel was expected in the six-furlong stakes for 3-year-old fillies with favored Southern California invader River Kiss drawing the rail, but trainer Tim McCanna wanted his filly Munnings Sister in front.

“We were a little worried, but the boss told me to go,” said jockey Francisco Duran.

Munnings Sister ($11.40) broke on top, while River Kiss broke a bit slowly and had to be pushed hard. She could not match Munnings Sister, who opened a 1 1/2-length lead  in 22/78 seconds in the opening quarter-mile over Distinctive Yolie, who ran second all the way, and River Kiss, who finished third.

“As soon as I got in front, I let her cross over and that was it,” said Duran.

Munnings Sister led Distinctive Yolie by one length as the field reached the quarter pole in 45.69 seconds. She widened her lead throughout the stretch, stopping the timer in 1:10.18, 4 1/4  lengths in front of Distinctive Yolie. River Kiss was another 2 1/4  lengths back in third.

McCanna gave the filly, owned and bred by Charles Fipke, time off after she ran third in the Wine Country Debutante last August. She won her comeback on April 8 at Golden Gate Fields and then was fourth in her first start against older on May 25.

“We always had this race in mind but didn’t want her sitting in the barn too long,” said McCanna. “We wanted to keep her fit for this race,”

McCanna said he would look for another sprint opportunity.

“She’s pretty much a sprinter,” he said. “We’ll take a look and see what’s best for her.”

Munnings Sister earned $32,850 for her third career victory and now has earnings of $74,800.

* Sand De Wind ($17.20) rallied along the rail and drove past leader Quick Sand PW to win the $20,000 Sheikh Zayaed bin Sultan al Nahyan Arabian Cup Stakes earlier on the card