Glia Wins Pebbles Over Muddy Track

From track reports
Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel had entered three in Monday's 10th running of the Pebbles Handicap, figuring he had a great opportunity to win this nine-furlong grass event and maybe get some grade III placings for trio of fillies.

Nothing, however, went according to plan. Nunatall and
were two of 11 scratches when the Pebbles was taken off the grass and run on the muddy main track. That left Flaxman Holdings homebred Glia as Frankel's only player in this race that was now reduced to five runners.

Adding to Frankel's woes was the fact that Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey had to take off his mounts Monday when he developed a kidney stone, and that included his mount on Glia.

Little was falling into place for Frankel. So, Glia and jockey Javier Castellano took over. Stalking an early pace of, the pair found room be :23 2/5; :47 1/5; and 1:12, Glia came a bit wide and split horse to grab the lead in the lane and easily power to a 3 ΒΌ length victory in 1:49 3/5 that was worth the lion's share of the $114,300 purse. It was only Glia's seventh career start, her start in this country, her first start on dirt and her first start on Lasix, the anti-bleeding medication.

She handled all the new change, and her new jockey, who won four races on the day, with aplomb.

"She trained very well on the dirt," Frankel said. "You're always a little bit worried the first time over a wet track, but she handled it well. I thought she would handle it, being by A.P. Indy and out of a Mr. Prospector mare. She really has an excellent turn of foot. My plan was to win this and then try her on the dirt. I don't know where we will go next, there are so many spots."

The victory, worth $6.40 to the $2 winning ticket holders in the Columbus Day crowd of 6,420, was Glia's third in seven career starts.

"She didn't break that sharp," Castellano said. "I wanted to wait and wait. I saw the hole and went for it. I didn't want her to go too wide. When I asked her, she really exploded. She finished strongly and galloped out good."

Nonsuch Bay ran second, six lengths ahead of Delta Princess, with Aztec Pearl and Bronze Autumn trailing.

In accordance with procedures of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association's Graded Stakes Committee, the Pebbles was downgraded one grade and run as a non-graded stake due to the transfer from grass. It will be reviewed to see if the original grade III status should be restored.

(Chart, Equibase)