Anxious Gonbarda Takes Preis Von Europa

by Mary Schweitzer
Gonbarda overcame some bad behavior at the starting gate to win the IVG-Preis von Europa (Ger-I) at Cologne on Sunday. The 3-year-old filly broke through the starting stalls twice, but was quickly caught and reloaded each time.

Once the race started, the daughter of Lando was on her best behavior and settled right off the front-running Birkspiel. Gonbarda and jockey Filip Minarik took over from Birkspiel as they straightened for home. Simonas, a 6-year-old gelding owned by Gary Tanaka, joined Gonbarda on the lead, and the two fought it out the final two furlongs to the wire. Gonbarda prevailed by a head, with Salutino three lengths further back in third.

Deutsches Derby (Ger-I) winner Nicaron missed the break and ran on for fourth.

The victory on Sunday was Gonbarda's second group I win. Her first came in July, in the Deutschland-Preis (Ger-I). Both races were at the distance of 1 1/2 miles.

Connections of the classy bay filly confirmed that she would be retired at the end of the year. They are hoping for invitations to the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) and the Hong Kong Vase (HK-I) before the end of the season.