By Dennis Miller
Throughout the first four days of Wine Country Racing at the Sonoma County Fair, the races on the turf course, almost without exception, have been won by horses coming from off the pace.
Sunday in the Robert Dupret Derby, it was the exception to the rule as Summersimage took the field wire-to-wire in the one-mile-and-one-sixteenth stakes race on the final day of the first week of racing in Santa Rosa.
The break saw Summersimage come out and make contact with Harvest the Storm, forcing the horse to shuffle back, while Summersimage took to the front of the race.
From there, the horse kept the pace, turning back anyone that tried to gain an edge.
In a meet where it has not paid to be on the front end while running on the grass, the first three horses throughout the race – Grecian Fire and Lucky Bode, as well as the winner – were the first three finishers in the race.
The best a closer could do was fourth as Golden Doughnut was forced to circle the field, and while full of run in the lane, could not run down the top three.
Racing resumes Thursday with a 1:15 p.m. post for the eight-race card. Stakes races on the second weekend are: Saturday, August 12; Sunday, August 13, the Jess Jackson Juvenile and the Wine Country Debutante.