07/03/2010 12:00AM

This time, Perfect Curls comes from off the pace


PLEASANTON, Calif. - Perfect Curls ($6.20) showed continued improvement as she used new tactics to win the $67,850 Juan Gonzalez Memorial at the Alameda County Fair on Saturday.

After running second to Cata Mia in her debut, Perfect Curls came back to score a wire-to-wire maiden victory at Golden Gate Fields on June 11. She was content to sit back early before making a strong move into the stretch, pulling clear of the field.

"The farther they go, the better for her," said trainer Cliff Delima following his 2-year-old filly's five-length victory over favored Sweet Baguette on Saturday.

Perfect Curls broke sharply under Michael Martinez after the start was delayed briefly when Cata Mia had to be scratched when she dumped jockey Chad Schvaneveldt and ran off at the gate. But this time Martinez let Perfect Curls settle in midpack before she made a three-wide move on the turn and shot quickly past pacesetting Rockin Heather in the stretch. She continued to pull away, winning the 5 -furlong race in 1:04.10.

"The race came up perfect," Martinez said. "[Delima] told me just to lay back and she'd run well. As soon as we hit the stretch I knew I had so much horse no one could catch me."

Sweet Baguette, the 6-5 favorite in her debut, got off a bit slow but finished well for second, finishing three-quarters of a length in front of Rockin Heather.

The victory was worth $40,700 for Perfect Curls, a Perfect Mandate filly owned by GCCI. She has career earnings of $66,700.