12/03/2005 12:00AM

Surprise scenario lifts Snowdrops

Jim Lisa Photos
Snowdrops, Brice Blanc up, rallies to score a half-length win in Saturday's Grade 3 My Charmer.

MIAMI - The entire complexion of the $100,000 changed when 3-5 favorite and projected pacesetter Sand Springs broke last in the field of nine filly and mare turf specialists. Sand Springs's slow start left the door open for Snowdrops to outfinish La Reina and Ticker Tape to win the My Charmer, the first of the four stakes races on Saturday's Grand Slam I program at Calder. Sand Springs finished fourth.

Snowdrops was reserved near the back of the pack while saving ground under jockey Brice Blanc for the opening six furlongs of the My Charmer, a 1 1/8-mile race. She angled outside at the top of the stretch while commencing her rally, then outkicked the hedge-hugging La Reina to win by a half-length. Ticker Tape finished another half-length back.

La Reina raced well placed behind the early leaders, rallied along the inside to gain control between calls near midstretch, but could not contain the winner's final surge. Ticker Tape, a Grade 1 winner, rallied four wide to join the leaders at midstretch but failed to sustain her bid.

Sand Springs, who earlier this year scored wire-to-wire wins in the Grade 1 Diana and Grade 2 Just a Game Breeders' Cup handicaps, raced rankly after her slow beginning. She gradually advanced outside rivals to striking position down the backstretch, took a run at the leaders into the stretch, but faltered in the final furlong.

"I'm not sure what happened at the break," said Sand Springs's trainer, Bill Mott. "She just appeared to break flat-footed and to the outside."

Snowdrops ($11.20), a 5-year-old daughter of Gulch, is trained by Christophe Clement. She covered 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.33 over a firm course.

"On paper, I was convinced Bill Mott's horse would be on the lead, and when she didn't break there was not a lot of pace in the race," said Clement. "On turf you have to be lucky, and today we got lucky and had a good trip. She saved ground all the way, came out for the stretch, and finished best of all."

Clement said Snowdrops, an Irish-bred, would return to Europe in January to be bred but might run once more in Louisiana before being retired.