ARCADIA, Calif. (June 1, 2017)–Fresh off a Grade III win at a mile and one half on turf April 30, trainer Paddy Gallagher’s Irish-bred Evo Campo heads a field of seven fillies and mares three and up as she seeks to defend her title in Sunday’s $75,000 Possibly Perfect Stakes, to be run at a mile and quarter over the Santa Anita turf.
Heading up the opposition on Sunday are Place des Vosges, who was fourth as the 9-5 favorite behind Evo Campo last time out, Irish-bred September Stars, who is also trained by Gallagher and appears to be coming to her best, Irish-bred Responsibleforlove, who led early and was second to Evo Campo April 30, and yet another Irish-bred, Laseen, who, like September Stars, is on the improve and appears poised to run a big race.
EVO CAMPO: A winner of last year’s Possibly Perfect, this 5-year-old mare stalked the early pace and won the Grade III Santa Barbara Stakes going away by 2 ¼ lengths on April 30, equaling her career-best Beyer Speed figure of 92, which was earned in winning last year’s Possibly Perfect. This year’s edition will mark the first time she’s ever run a mile and a quarter, as last’s year’s Possibly Perfect was contested at a mile and one half. Owned by David and Michael Day and Mary DiPietro, Evo Campo is 13-6-1-2 overall with earnings of $234,121.
PLACE DES VOSGES: Trained by Richard Baltas, she had a two-race winning streak snapped when fourth, beaten 4 ½ lengths in the Grade III Santa Barbara, a race in which she fell far off the early pace. In her two previous turf allowance wins, at 1 1/8 miles on March 26 and 1 ¼ miles on Feb. 24, she was in much closer stalking position early and thus can be expected to be closer early on Sunday. Owned by Abbondanza Racing, LLC, Place des Voges, who has been ridden by Corey Nakatani in all five of her Southern California starts, will be ridden for the first time by Norberto Arroyo, Jr., as Nakatani will be sidelined due to a three-day riding suspension. A 5-year-old Kentucky-bred mare by Pleasantly Perfect, Place des Vosges is 24-4-6-3 overall with earnings of $213,264.
SEPTEMBER STARS: Unbeaten in two turf allowance starts at a mile and one eighth for Gallagher, she won under very confident handling over a “good” turf on May 7 and will be ridden for the third time in row by Gary Stevens. Owned by Andrew Rosen and Edward Easton, September Stars, a 4-year-old filly, looks more than ready for her stateside “close-up.” With an overall mark of 10-4-2-1, she has earnings of $84,001.
RESPONSIBLEFORLOVE: Originally raced in Italy, she was dismissed at 17-1 in her second start for Neil Drysdale, but responded with a second place finish behind Evo Campo going a mile and one half on grass in the Grade III Santa Barbara April 30. Ridden for the first time by Tyler Baze, she was sent to the front, opened up by three lengths after the first half mile and stayed gamely for the place. With two wins from three tries at a mile and quarter, Responsibleforlove, a 4-year-old filly, rates an upset chance with Baze back aboard. Owned by Team Valor International and Mrs. G.A. Rupert, she’s 8-3-2-1 overall with earnings of $71,859.
LASEEN: Campaigned exclusively in France in her first 21 starts, this 6-year-old mare appears to be on the improve for trainer James Cassidy, as she’s been second and then a close third in a pair of mile and one eighth turf allowances on March 26 and May 7. With Santiago Gonzalez engaged to ride for the first time, Laseen will hope to be running from off the pace turning for home in the Possibly Perfect. Owned by Deron Pearson’s D P Racing, she’s 23-3-8-2 overall with earnings of $147,127.
THE $75,000 POSSIBLY PERFECT STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 8 of 9 Approximate post time 4:30 p.m. PT
- Evo Campo–Rafael Bejarano–126
- Place des Vosges–Norberto Arroyo, Jr.–124
- September Stars–Gary Stevens–124
- Responsibleforlove–Joe Talamo–124
- Laseen–Santiago Gonzalez–122
- Stylish in Black–Agapito Delgadillo–122
- Hiking–Israel Ocampo–124
First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday is at 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m.