Weigelia Wires Field in Ponche Handicap

Joseph J. Balsamo's Weigelia went immediately to the front and sprinted away from his rivals in the stretch for a 3 1/2-length victory in the $100,000 Ponche Handicap at Calder Race Course Saturday.

Ridden by Eddie Castro for trainer Michael Trombetta, the 6-year-old Safely's Mark horse won for the first time in four starts this year and edged ever closer to the $1 million mark in career earnings. A winner of 13 of 39 lifetime starts, Florida-bred Weigelia earned $54,500 Saturday to run his overall bankroll to $974,580. The Calder specialist boasts an 8-2-2 record in 17 outings on the South Florida oval.

Weigelia set solid fractions of :21 4/5 and :45 en route to a final clocking of 1:11. Gower, ridden by Carlos Olivero, got up for second after a ground-saving trip, a nose ahead of Finallymadeit and Eduardo Nunez. Mach Ride, the 3-1 favorite in the field of 12, finished fourth.

Sent off as the third choice, Weigelia paid $9, $6.20 and $4. Gower returned $29.20 and $21.20. Finallymadeit was $13.40 to show.

Nightmare Affair and Quereall scratched.

(Chart, Equibase)

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