10/09/2012 3:31PM

Santa Anita: Gervinho earns shot at Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf

Benoit & Associates
Gervinho (left), under Rafael Bejarano, outfinishes Den’s Legacy in the Zuma Beach Stakes.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Gervinho is bound for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on Nov. 3 after winning the Zuma Beach Stakes at Santa Anita on Monday.

His stablemate Winding Way, a stakes-winning female sprinter at Del Mar, will pass the Breeders’ Cup after her first loss Sunday.

That was the approach trainer Carla Gaines envisioned Monday for early November.

Gervinho, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, overcame losing his footing on the turn to close furiously through the stretch and win the one-mile Zuma Beach in his first start on turf and first start longer than 5 1/2 furlongs.

“I thought he wasn’t going to run a step because his head came up,” trainer Carla Gaines said of the incident on the turn. “He’s got a beautiful stride.”

Owned by California Horse Racing Board chairman Keith Brackpool, Gervinho won a maiden special weight race for California-breds over 5 1/2 furlongs at Del Mar on Sept. 3 in his first start. The BC Juvenile Turf is “the hope and the aim,” Brackpool said, leaving the winner’s circle.

Winding Way will not start in the BC Filly and Mare Sprint after her disappointing performance as the 3-10 favorite in the L.A. Woman Stakes. Ridden by Bejarano, Winding Way was last throughout and was never a factor in the stretch. It was her first loss in four starts.

Gaines said that Winding Way may not start on a dirt track in future races.

“I’m not running in the Breeders’ Cup,” she said.

Instead, Winding Way may start on a synthetic track or turf, she said.