More Than Ready mare More Than Pretty was represented by her second Group winner within a week at Del Mar on Sunday.
Winning Way (3f Malibu Moon – More Than Pretty by More Than Ready) scored an eye-catching victory in the G3 Rancho Bernardo Hcp (1300m) after bombing the start. In a stunning display of raw talent, she spotted the leaders a huge margin before reeling them in with a tremendous rally in the straight.
The unbeaten filly was a $2.40 favourite for her first black-type assignment after front-running victories against older mares at Hollywood Park and Del Mar. “That’s how to give a trainer a heart attack,” a relieved Carla Gaines said. “It was a massive recovery. She’s still inexperienced and was on the wrong leg in the lane.”
Winning Way will now be set for the G1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Santa Anita (1400m) on November 2. “We were testing her in a Graded race to see if she’s a Breeders’ Cup horse,” Gaines said. “She’s getting closer.”
Winning jockey Rafael Bejarano said the winner turned sideways at the start. “I didn’t rush her,” he said. “Even though we were way behind, I had a lot of confidence in her. I work her in the mornings and she is strong and finishes so well.”
Winning Way is a Spendthrift Farm homebred and her dam More Than Pretty was a Listed winner of the 2006 Open Mind Stakes at Churchill Downs.
More Than Pretty’s brilliant Malibu Moon filly Kauai Katie claimed the G2 Adirondack Stakes (1300m) at Saratoga on August 12. She was also bred by Spendthrift Farm and cost $490,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Florida 2YO Sale earlier this year.
More Than Ready (Southern Halo) began shuttling to Vinery in 2001. He will stand for a $121,000 (inc gst) fee in 2012.