Bendable Wins Beverly Lewis Stakes

10.09.2016, by Jim
Bendable Wins Beverly Lewis Stakes&h=223&w=348&zc=1

Experienced horse racing fans know that starting a race strong doesn’t mean victory. In fact, many ‘front runners’ often find themselves run down in the stretch by ‘closers’. It takes a strong effort throughout a race to earn victory and that’s what Bendable did at Los Alamitos this past weekend in the $75,000 Beverly Lewis Stakes. Bendable got a very strong start and dominated the prohibitive 1-5 race favorite, the previously undefeated Enola Gay.

Enola Gay was never in contention for the lead but managed to finish second 3 1/4 lengths ahead of 35-1 third place finisher Everqueen and 2 1/4 lengths behind the race winner. Jockey Mike Smith was aboard Bendable who navigated the six furlong course in 1:08.84. Smith says that a strategy session with Bendable’s trainer Richard Mandella gave him the tactical information he needed to win–she likes to be on the lead: “He said, ‘Don’t take anything away from her if it comes easily. I was surprised. I was very loaded and when I asked her, she kicked it in.”

By contrast, owner Nick Alexander concedes that Enola Gray was likely done in by a tactical misstep. His horse was in good shape to make a challenge at the turn but jockey Tyler Baze was unable to get to the front: “The plan was to be with the other filly. She’s a nice filly. We ran a good race. We just got beat.”

Enola Gay had been on a nice run this summer. She won the Melair Stakes and Fleet Treat Stakes for California-breds in May and July. Unfortunately, she missed a start in the Grade 3 Torrey Pines Stakes at Del Mar in late August because of illness. Trainer Phil D’Amato said prior to the race that he was confident that Enola Gay had recovered from her illness and he reiterated afterwards that it didn’t play a factor in her defeat.

Bendable enjoyed her first success in a stakes race with the win. She won her first two starts at Santa Anita in June and July (a maiden race and an optional claimer) and finished second in an optional claimer against older fillies and mares at Del Mar on July 27.

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