Carole Lombard (#5) stealing headlines on Gold Rush Weekend. (Vassar Photography)
Trainer Phil D’Amato And Owner/Breeder Nick Alexander Pick Up Third Gold Rush Weekend Stakes
Matt Dinnerman/Golden Gate Fields
BERKELEY, Calif.—The $75,000 Campanile Stakes for California-bred or sired 3-year-old fillies produced a thrilling finish and a photo to determine the winner. In the end, dark bay or brown filly Carole Lombard picked up the gold prize by a head, defeating runner up Proof She Zips and third place finisher Sell the Dream. The top three fillies were all Southern California shippers facing a trio of local entrants.
Carole Lombard, given a well-timed ride by Golden Gate Fields Winter/Spring meet leading rider Assael Espinoza, sat off a quick 45- and 4/5-seconds half-mile time set by early leader Rousing Jewel. Carole Lombard began a move on the far turn run and swung outside turning for home to stay in the clear for the stretch drive. Doing her best work in the final stages, she rallied down the center of the track and edged out Proof She Zips in the final strides. The final time for one mile over firm turf was 1:37.97.
Carole Lombard, sent off as the second choice in the wagering at 7-5, paid $4.80 to place, $2.80 to place and $2.10 to show. Proof She Zips returned $4.00 to place and $2.60 to show while 6-5 race favorite Sell the Dream paid $2.10 to show. Rousing Jewel finished fourth followed by Like No Other and Get My Point.
Carole Lombard, by Grazen out of the Afleet Alex mare Shesabronxbomber, was bred in California by owner/breeder Nick Alexander. She improved her lifetime record to 3 wins and 1 second place finish from 6 lifetime starts. Carole Lombard earned $45,000 for the Campanile victory and improved her career earnings to $151,920.
Nick Alexander had a big weekend at Golden Gate, winning two additional stake races with horses he also bred and owns. On Saturday, the Alexander homebred Alice Marble won the Camilla Urso Stakes for filly and mare turf sprinters. Two races later, Alexander’s Rose Maddox outfinished a salty field in the Golden Poppy for filly and mare turf routers. The winning trainer of Carole Lombard, Phil D’Amato, also had three stakes wins on Gold Rush Weekend. He trains Alice Marble and Balnikhov, winner of the $250,000 Grade 3 San Francisco Mile on Saturday.