Updated on 09/17/2011 11:35PM

Splendid Blended makes up for flop

Ryan McAlinden/EQUI-PHOTO
Splendid Blended, and jockey Manoel Cruz, run to victory in the Grade II $200,000 Shirley Jones Breeders' Cup Handicap at Gulfstream Park.

Splendid Blended rebounded from a subpar effort when getting a perfect trip Saturday under Manoel Cruz to win the Grade 2, $187,000 at Gulfstream Park.

Splendid Blended had finished sixth in her previous start, the Feb. 18 Hurricane Bertie at Gulfstream, a race that marked her first race in 6 1/2 months. She clearly benefited from that effort Saturday, forcing the pace in the Shirley Jones before edging clear to prevail by 3 1/4 lengths over Beautiful Bets. Splendid Blended returned $8 as second choice.

The Shirley Jones was the fifth win in eight career starts for Splendid Blended, who won the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet at 2 and the Grade 1 Vanity last year at 3 when she was based in Southern California with Neil Drysdale. Bill Mott has since assumed the training of Splendid Blended for breeder-owner Peter Vegso.

Injustice went to the early lead in the seven-furlong Shirley Jones, but Splendid Blended never cut her a break, as Cruz had her loping alongside down the backstretch. Entering the stretch, Splendid Blended drew off, with Beautiful Bets, an 11-1 shot under Mark Guidry, rallying for second by 1 1/4 lengths over Injustice.

Givememore finished fourth, another nose back, in a field of 10 fillies and mares. In the Gold, the other Grade 1 winner in the field and the 2-1 favorite, had a spot of traffic trouble and finished without a kick to be eighth in her first start since the Breeders' Cup Distaff. Pool Land, the 3-1 third choice, finished sixth, her first defeat in four career starts.