ARCADIA, Calif. (June 12, 2016)–With an eye-catching turn of foot, Irish-bred Evo Campo shot by pace setter Chocolatier leaving the quarter pole and steamed to an impressive 1 ¼ length win in Sunday’s $75,000 Possibly Perfect Stakes at Santa Anita. Ridden by Rafael Bejarano and conditioned by Irish-bred Paddy Gallagher, Evo Campo negotiated the marathon distance of a mile and one half on turf in 2:27.43.
A one half-length allowance winner over the course at 1 1/8 miles on May 5, Evo Campo was trying the mile and one half distance for the first time, but employed similar tactics, as she attended the pace while second into the far turn.
“I tried to plan it that way,” said Bejarano, himself a Peruvian native. “I knew Chocolatier was going to be the speed and maybe Sharla Rae would go too. I wanted to make sure we broke well and found a good position. I could tell Tyler (Baze) was trying to get Chocolatier to relax on the lead, so I just decided to stay right behind them. I waited as long as I could and then in the stretch, I just let her go.”
Off at 3-1 in a field of seven fillies and mares, three and up, Evo Campo, who is owned by Ronald Day and Mary DiPietro, paid $8.60, $4.80 and $3.20. A 4-year-old filly, Evo Campo is now four for seven over the Santa Anita turf and she improved her overall mark to 11-5-1-2. With the winner’s share of $45,840, she increased her earnings to $170,121.
“This is such a good win,” said Gallagher. “It’s so nice because the owner, he just recently became sick, a bone cancer of some kind and he’s just started to battle it. This is really good for him.”
When asked about what’s next for his now stakes winning filly? “It’s nice to do what you’ve done. It’s always going to be tough for her, but now we just hope we find something that suits her down at Del Mar.”
Hiking, off at 9-1 for trainer Simon Callaghan ran late under hot turf rider Flavien Prat to get second over favored Sharla Rae by 1 ¼ lengths and paid $8.20 and $4.60.
Off at 2-1 for trainer Doug O’Neill, Sharla Rae sat just off the pace, taking the shortest trip the whole way around on the rail under Santiago Gonzalez, but couldn’t overtake Evo Campo and finished third in front of Energia Fribby and Drayden Van Dyke by 1 ½ lengths. Sharla Rae paid $3.00 to show.
Fractions on the race were 23.70, 48.51, 1:13.30, 1:38.09 and 2:03.11.
There is a Pick Six Carryover into Thursday of $68,569 and the total Pick Six pool is expected to approach $500,000. Live racing returns Thursday with first post at 1:30 p.m. and gates open at 11:30 a.m.