BALTIMORE, AUG. 14 -- Gala Spinaway walked on to the Pimlico Race Course dirt today and crossed a bridge.
The 5-year-old horse, recharged after nearly a year's rest, made the most of an ideal trip in winning the $100,000 Polynesian Handicap by nearly three lengths. Ibex edged New York-based Lost Mountain for second, while Root Boy, the 6-5 favorite, finished fourth.
Gala Spinaway had won 11 races and more than $500,000 for owner Skip Leviton and trainer Bernie Bond when he ran in the 1992 Polynesian, which marked the beginning of a long layoff caused by "general wear and tear." Bond died in February, leaving trusted assistant Graham Motion to run the stable -- assuming Bond's owners remained loyal.
The Maryland-bred 3-year-old champion of 1991, Gala Spinaway became the first horse to win graded stakes for both Bond and Motion. He did it with a textbook trip, Mario Pino keeping him just off a two-horse duel before Gala Spinaway circled them and ran off, finishing 1 1/16 miles in 1 minute 42 3/5 seconds.
Meanwhile at Saratoga, Sky Beauty bolstered her status as the nation's leading 3-year-old filly by making the $200,000 Alabama Stakes her fourth consecutive victory. Despite a slow 1 1/4-mile time of 2:03 2/5, the odds-on favorite defeated Future Pretense by about two lengths. Pimlico-based Jacody failed to sustain her rally after advancing outside on the final turn and finished fifth.