Brenda's Way was a dominant winner of the Geisha. Photo by Laurie Asseo.

Brenda’s Way was a dominant winner of the Geisha. Photo by Laurie Asseo.

Brenda’s Way had developed something of a reputation for running off with her riders.  Race after race, she jetted out to long early leads before tiring and losing.

No more.

Brenda’s Way and jockey Jevian Toledo teamed up for their second straight win today, taking the Geisha Stakes for Maryland-breds at Pimlico Race Course.  Just as she had in an allowance score last month, Brenda’s Way grabbed the early lead, relaxed into the bit, and had plenty left late.

“Last time she ran huge,” Toledo said. “This time we felt we could do the same thing. We got into a great spot and she moves so good. When I looked back at the three-eighths pole, I had a horse chasing me and she just moved down the stretch, go go go.”

Brenda’s Way, the second choice at 7-5, cleared to a two-length lead after an opening quarter in 23 seconds flat and a half in 46.46 seconds.  Odds-on favorite Eddy Gourmet, the impressive winner of the Conniver last month at Laurel, tracked from second but emptied out after three-quarters of a mile and finished last.

Meanwhile, up front, Brenda’s Way was extending her lead, ultimately rolling home in 1:46.78 for the 1 1/16 miles, 10 1/4 lengths clear of Bazinga B in second.  Celtic Katie rallied into third.

“She works hard, so she’s one that kind of deserves it. It’s a nice win for her,” winning trainer Damon Dilodovico said. “This horse can be very difficult to ride. This is the third time I put Toledo on her and he learned the hard way one of the earlier times when he rode her. You have to completely let her do her thing. If you try to manhandle her, she won’t run for you.”

Brenda’s Way has now won eight times from 30 starts, and the winner’s share today pushed her career earnings past $290,000.  It was the first career stakes win for the daughter of Weigelia.