ARCADIA, Calif. (April 30, 2017)–Breaking from the far outside, Irish-bred Evo Campo sat second to longshot Responsibleforlove until there was a furlong to play, and quickly asserted her superiority under Rafael Bejarano as she waltzed to a 2 ¼ length win in Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Santa Barbara Stakes at Santa Anita. Trained by Paddy Gallagher, Evo Campo got a mile and one half on turf in 2:27.70.
“It set up great, we got the best of it,” said Gallagher, who also won last year’s Santa Barbara with Queen of the Sand. “The further they went, the better it was for us. The rest of ’em were stacked up and we were free-running. It worked out great.”
Off at 3-1 in a field of eight fillies and mares three and up, Evo Campo, a 5-year-old mare, paid $8.60, $5.00 and $3.40.
Owned by David Day, Michael Day and Mary DiPietro, Evo Campo, who was a minor stakes winner here under the same conditions two starts back on June 12, registered her sixth with from 13 starts. With the winner’s share of $60,000, she increased her earnings to $234,121.
“I had a perfect trip,” said Bejarano. “I didn’t expect the five (Responsibleforlove, with Tyler Baze) to be on the lead, but it was good for me to follow that horse. I tried to get my horse to relax. She always tries really hard.”
Responsibleforlove just held off Argentine-bred Estrechada by a nose for second. Off at 17-1, Responsibleforlove paid $13.80 and $8.00.
Ridden by Steward Elliott, Estrechada was last midway around the far turn and rallied well for third, finishing 2 ¼ lengths in front of favored Place des Vosges. Off at 5-2, Estrechada paid $3.40 to show.
Fractions on the race were 24.41, 48.28, 1:12.63, 1:37.59 and 2:02.61.
Note: Due to scheduled maintenance, the traditional hillside start was not an option on Sunday, necessitating a “flat” start on the backstretch. The hillside course will be available for racing beginning on Thursday.