Bendable, a 3-year-old Horse Greeley filly trained by Richard Mandella, popped out of the gate under first-time jockey Mike Smith and held an early lead, but that didn't last all that long.
About an eighth of a mile into the six-furlong test, the rest of the five-filly field formed a line in the backstretch, all vying for the lead. Enola Gray, who came into the race with an undefeated record in three starts, broke a step slow and found herself four wide in the line.
In the turn, however, Smith and Bendable regained command, with longshot Everqueen on her outside flank and Enola Gray loomed three wide as the opening quarter went in 22.36 and the half in :45.17. The gray Grazen filly was able to pass Everqueen in the stretch, but never seriously threatened the winner, who hit the wire 2 1/4 lengths on top in 1:08.84.
"I was kinda drifting out to make sure my mare saw (Enola Gray), which is more important than me seeing her," Smith said. "She locked on and I gave her a couple with the right hand to keep her straight. ... She jumped really well (out of the gate) and my handler in the gate really set her up well, so she caught a flier out of there."
Enola Gray—who won the Fleet Treat Stakes last time out at Del Mar July 22 but was scratched from the Torrey Pines (gr. III) Aug. 28 with a cough after training the day prior—finished 3 1/4 lengths clear of Everqueen. Sunday's race was Enola Gray's first in open company.
"She broke a little bit slow and she made a nice move around the turn, but we got beat," said trainer Phil D'Amato. "(Jockey Tyler Baze) thought we were going to run (Bendable) down in the lane, but that's a nice filly. She is close to being undefeated, so if we find her next time, we won't give her the two lengths."
Bendable won her first two races at Santa Anita Park—a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight June 3 by 3 3/4 lengths and a six-furlong allowance by 2 1/4 lengths July 1—but came in second July 27 at Del Mar in another allowance. She now has $127,000 in earnings and paid $9 and $2.40 as the 7-2 second choice. Enola Gray, off at 1-5, paid $2.10 to place. No show wagering was offered.