ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 21, 2018)–Well beaten in graded stakes company in his last two starts, trainer Jeff Bonde’s Sparky Ville, who was gelded less than a month ago, showed marked improvement in today’s $70,000 Sunny Slope Stakes, as he rallied under Gary Stevens to win by 1 ¼ lengths while getting 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16.56.
Third, just a length off dueling leaders Seven Scents and Savagery at the top of the lane, Sparky Ville wheeled three-wide off the turn and proved much best following a 16 ½ length defeat in the Grade I Del Mar Futurity Sept. 3.
“Jeff told me to ride a smart race, whatever that means!” said Stevens, who had ridden the Candy Ride gelding in his last three starts. “I’ve never seen a horse turn it around so quick after being gelded as this horse. I sent him out of there, but, for some reason, Geovanni (Franco, aboard Seven Scents) had us out in the eight-path (coming out of the seven furlong chute). I could see Joe (Talamo, aboard Savagery) was applying pressure, so I took a little hold and was able to get my horse back.
“Before they cut him, there is no way I could’ve done that. He’s out of a Storm Cat mare and he really acts like it. Today was the first time he was good in the gate. He’s gonna keep getting better now with every race.”
With no show wagering, Sparky Ville was off at 2-1 in a field of four juvenile colts and geldings and paid $6.20 and $3.20.
Owned by Del Secco DCS, Inc., Sparky Ville, who is out of the Storm Cat mare Lorelei K, registered his second win from five starts, which including a distant second behind highly regarded Instagrand two starts back in the Grade II Best Pal Stakes on Aug. 11. With the winner’s check of $43,200, Sparky Ville now has earnings of $125,425.
“Like I said a few days ago, he’s been running with the bears,” said Bonde. “He ran a nice race today and he had something to run at, which was nice. Gelding him (on Sept. 26) has definitely made him more professional.”
Savagery, who broke from the far outside, was clearly second best at 9-5 and paid $3.00 to place while finishing 2 ¼ lengths in front of a tiring Seven Scents, who was dispatched as the even money favorite.
Fractions on the race were 22.00, 44.80 and 1:09.83.