EVENING JEWEL PART OF GOLDEN STATE SERIES FOR CALIFORNIA-BRED OR SIRED RUNNERS
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 4, 2015)–With a dramatic late surge, trainer Phil D’Amato’s Sheer Pleasure overtook Grand Yodeler to win Saturday’s $200,000 Evening Jewel Stakes at Santa Anita by three quarters of a length. A 3-year-old California-bred filly by Birdonthewire, Sheer Pleasure was ridden by Tyler Baze and covered 6 ½ furlongs in 1:17.09.
Owned by Little Red Feather Racing and RM Racing, Sheer Pleasure, who unseated her jockey after stumbling at the break of her most recent start on March 6, was off at 8-1 and paid $18.20, $9.60 and $6.20. Bred by Madera Thoroughbreds, LLC, Sheer Pleasure got her second win from four starts and with the winner’s cut of $110,000, increased her earnings to $147,450.
Next to last going to the quarter pole in a field of 12 sophomore fillies bred or sired in California, Sheer Pleasure split horses five-wide turning for home and smoked home the final three sixteenths of a mile.
“She kind of got lost out there,” said Baze. She was out there by herself and was so wide she almost didn’t see that horse to her inside (runner-up Grand Yodeler)…She got down and really took off that last hundred yards. I hit her twice and she just took off, really had a burst.
“I just wanted to be patient today. There was a ton of speed in the race and I didn’t know how she would take dirt in her face but really after the first eighth of a mile, it didn’t bother her. It was just a matter of pulling the trigger at the right time and she’s just a nice filly.”
D’Amato was encouraged by the way his filly finished and indicated she may be ticketed to a two turn race in the near future.
“I think the longer, the better with this filly,” D’Amato said. “She has a lot of upside to her. I didn’t know if we were going to get there (in time). I know from training her that she gets stronger as the race gets longer. She was picking up steam and we nailed her at the very end.”
Trained by Eddie Truman and ridden by Kent Desormeaux, Grand Yodeler sat a close third early, took the lead turning for home, opened up 2 ½ lengths at the furlong pole but couldn’t hold off the winner, finishing second, 4 ¼ lengths in front of Ashley’s Sassy. Off at 23-1, Grand Yodeler paid $21.60 and $12.00.
Ridden by Mike Smith, Ashley’s Sassy broke awkwardly, was relegated to last after the first half mile and rallied six-wide turning for home to finish third, a half length in front of Long Hot Summer. Off at 9-1, Ashley’s Sassy paid $6.00 to show.
Fractions on the race were 22.26, 45.91 and 1:10.64.