Winter Garden Flowers in Woodbine's Hendrie

(from Woodbine report)
Jockey David Clark and Winter Garden let two rivals go toe-to-toe before winning Sunday's $174,250 Hendrie Stakes (Can-III) at Woodbine.

The daughter of Roy, second in last month's Whimsical Stakes to kick her off 4-year-old campaign, was in striking distance in the 6 1/2-furlong Hendrie, breezing by rivals at the head of the stretch to win comfortably by three lengths over a late-closing Spanish Decree.

After a slow break from the gate, conditioner Robert Tiller's other Hendrie hopeful, Brass in Pocket, engaged favorite Handpainted in a duel for the lead, the pair cutting a quarter-mile clip in :22.48 and a half in :45.33. Clark kept a close eye on the proceedings with Winter Garden, just outside of the front-running duo, waiting for the right moment to take aim at the leaders.

And when they unleashed their bid, it was all over.

"It was fantastic, I just had so much horse underneath me from the word go," said Clark, who won his third added-money race aboard the Frank DiGiulio filly. "Today, she was just dead-on."

It was also sweet redemption after the runner-up effort over a muddy main strip in the Whimsical. "She was a much better filly today," offered Clark, who captured his fourth Hendrie. "She didn't handle it (off track) as well as she could have."

Winter Garden, who has finished first or second in five of her past six starts, picked up the winner's pot of $96,750, to push her career earnings to $673,278.

The final time for the race was 1:16.76 over a fast main track.

Winter Garden paid $5.60, $3.80 and $2.30. Robert Landry guided 27-1 Spanish Decree to second ($18.10, $3.60), while Handpainted ($2.10) was third. The 6-1 exacta paid $115.60.

(Chart, Equibase)