Halfway through Sunday’s $54,210 Luther Burbank Handicap, jockey Dennis Carr thought he was destined to be an also-ran aboard Trend.
“We were in last place and that certainly wasn’t where I expected to be early in the race,” he said. “He has some early speed, so being so far back early, I thought maybe he didn’t like the turf.”
On the final turn, Carr steered Trend to the outside and he couldn’t believe what happened next.
“The horse took off with me,” the jockey said. “He had a gear I didn’t know he had.”
The duo came into the stretch four-wide and wore down favored Black Spirit in the final yards en route to a half-length victory.
“He has a tremendous turn of foot,” Carr said. “Black Spirit wasn’t slowing down. I was really impressed.”
Trend, trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella, vanned up from Southern California for the Burbank. His owner, Stone Farm of Lexington, Ky., collected $32,500 as the winner’s share.
The seven-year-old wasn’t fancied by the public and paid $16.60 for each $2 win bet.
Carr, Alejandro Gomez and Ricardo Gonzalez each rode two winners on Sunday.
Russell Baze leads the jockey standings with 13 winners through the first eight days of the meet. Juan Hernandez, who edged Baze for the title last year, didn’t ride Sunday He has six wins this summer.
Wagering was strong on Sunday’s final four races but director of racing Richard Lewis said business has been disappointing overall. “We’re optimistic we’ll finish strong,” he said. “We have good, competitive cards the first part of next week and that will hopefully continue through the weekend.”
The track will be dark today and Tuesday with the final week of racing beginning on Wednesday.
Three stakes races will be held over the final five days. Friday, it’s the Wine Country Debutante followed the next two days by the Jess Jackson Handicap and the Cavonnier Juvenile Stakes.
Sunday’s Derby Dog Dash final for small dogs was won by William Nolan’s Iggy.
Halo Dolly, who finished second as the favorite in the Luther Burbank Handicap July 27, has been retired from racing. She won 10 stakes races, including one at the fair in 2013. She will be offered as a broodmare prospect in a Kentucky sale in November.
Shooting for spotlight
Three other Sonoma County golfers will attempt to qualify for the U.S. Senior Open in the next week.
John Groth, an amateur golfer from Santa Rosa and a former NCAA Div. III All-American at Stanislaus State
Brian McCormick of Petaluma, a pro who gives lessons out of a golf and tennis shop in San Rafael
Philip Yim of Petaluma, an amateur golfer, tech-sector executive and native of Great Britain
To read more about these three golfers, go to pressdemocrat.com