Cindy's Hero Uses Her Nose in Ramser Handicap

Tom and Elizabeth Baxter's Cindy's Hero rallied in the stretch and beat Gabriellina Giof by a nose Sunday to win the $110,500 Harold C. Ramser Sr. Handicap at Santa Anita.

Ridden by Garret Gomez and carrying 117 pounds, Cindy's Hero covered one mile on the turf in 1:33.70 and paid $8.40, $3.40 and $3.20. Gabriellina Giof returned $3.40 and $3.20, while Walts Wharf, another 3 1/2 lengths back in third, paid $7.60 to show. Love Roi, the even-money favorite, finished fourth in the field of eight.

For her second win in 10 career starts, Cindy's Hero won $66,300, increasing her lifetime earnings to $371,975. Her previous victory was as a maiden in the Grade I Del Mar Debutante in September 2000.

The daughter of Sea Hero was scratched from the Lady's Secret Breeders' Cup Handicap for 3-year-olds and up, a grade II run on the main track Sept. 29.

"We were going to run on the dirt," trainer David Hofmans said, "but I worked her on the turf the other day and she worked lights out."

In the Ramser, Cindy's Hero was settled in 10 lengths off the pace as Walts Wharf raced the opening half-mile in :45.92. Cindy's Hero made her move while four wide on the last turn and caught Gabriellina Giof with a strong finish.

"We had a little trouble at the top of the lane," Gomez said. "Me and Brice Blanc (riding Alinga) got tangled up. I had her rolling pretty good, but Alinga cut out and (Gabrielliana Giof) got a big jump on us. I didn't think there was any way we were going to catch her now. My filly just kept trying. She's got that long sustained run and keeps gnawing at 'em. It felt like she hit another gear and tried just a little deeper and got there just in time."

(Chart, Equibase)