April 23, 2024

Edgeway mounts title defense in Rancho Bernardo

Edgeway shrugged off a challenge in the 2021 Rancho Bernardo Handicap (Photo © Benoit Photo)

About three hours after the Ballerina (G1) at Saratoga Sunday, Del Mar hosts the $150,000 Rancho Bernardo H. (G3) with Breeders’ Cup implications in the same division. Edgeway, runner-up to champion Ce Ce in last year’s Filly & Mare Sprint (G1), bids for a repeat in the 6 1/2-furlong Rancho Bernardo.

Rancho Bernardo H. (G3) – Race 8 (8:30 p.m. ET)

Trained by John Sadler for Hronis Racing, Edgeway hopes that past is prologue in more ways than one. Last summer, she was a troubled fourth in the Great Lady M (G2) before rebounding in this spot with a game front-running score. Edgeway once again looks to the Rancho Bernardo as a place to regain the winning thread, having tired to sixth in the May 7 Derby City Distaff (G1) in her latest. Leading rider Juan Hernandez picks up the mount on the speedy mare, who will break from post 5 in a six-horse field.

Her most intriguing opponent is New Mexican celebrity Slammed, drawn just to her inside in post 4. The Todd Fincher pupil proved that she could take her game on the road, versus open company, when wiring a Del Mar allowance in her July 28 comeback. Drayden Van Dyke is back aboard the filly with an 8-for-10 lifetime record.

Private Mission reverts to sprinting for Bob Baffert after stopping badly in the Clement L. Hirsch (G1). Her most notable results, however, have come around two turns – wins in the 2021 Zenyatta (G2) and Torrey Pines (G3) as well as the June 18 Santa Maria (G2). The last time she sprinted, Private Mission was a distant second to Edgeway in the Mar. 13 Los Flores (G3). The Into Mischief filly was drawn on the rail that day, while she’s got more options on the outside Sunday with new pilot Mike Smith.

Dance to the Music has some form to her credit, suggesting that she can be forgiven her troubled fifth in the Slammed allowance. Best of the rest behind romping Grace Adler in last year’s Del Mar Debutante (G1), Dance to the Music was second to now-sidelined Becca Taylor in the June 4 Desert Stormer (G3). The Mark Glatt sophomore gets in with 117 pounds, six fewer than highweight Edgeway.

Concluding the cast are Cover Version, a well-beaten fourth to Becca Taylor in the July 4 renewal of the Great Lady M, and Empire House, successful in the California Governor’s Cup at Sacramento last out. Both well-bred mares appear in search of a graded placing.