Santa Anita News
EVENING JEWEL AIMS TO PAD RESUME IN HILLSIDE MONROVIA
ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 30, 2010) – California-bred millionaire Evening Jewel, who can handle any surface or distance with authority, tries Santa Anita’s unique downhill turf course for the first time on Sunday when challenged by seven ambitious fillies and mares in the 43rd running of the Grade III, $100,000 Monrovia Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs.
The daughter of Northern Afleet, whom trainer James Cassidy describes as “an overachiever,” figures to be a solid favorite upon returning from a layoff that followed a third-place finish behind Dubai Majesty and Switch in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5.
There is little that Tom and Marilyn Braly’s bay filly has not achieved during her 14-race career. She has been no worse than third in 13 starts following her debut. She has won Grade I competitions on grass (Del Mar Oaks) and synthetics (Ashland at Keeneland). She lost by a nose to Blind Luck on dirt in the Grade I Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs in 2010. And she has been victorious at distances ranging from 6 ½ furlongs to 1 1/8 miles.
Regular rider Victor Espinoza will be aboard Evening Jewel, who comes into the Monrovia with earnings of $1,015,943 from a career record of 6-5-2 in her 14 trips to the post.
Evening Jewel’s prime danger appears to be another Cal-bred, accomplished sprinter Unzip Me, a winner of 7 of her last 9 starts while sprinting of turf.
Trained by Marty Jones for co-breeder Harris Farms and partners, Unzip Me will share high weight of 123 pounds with Evening Jewel. Rafael Bejarano has the mount on the 5-year-old City Zip mare whose career record is 9-2-3 from 16 starts for earnings of $583,513.
Unzip Me has won 3 of 4 starts over the downhill grass layout including the Grade III Las Cienegas Handicap last April. She has been idle since finishing third in the Grade II Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint won by Chamberlain Bridge over five furlongs at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5.
The complete field for the Monrovia Stakes, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Broken Dreams, Garrett Gomez, 118; Evening Jewel, Victor Espinoza, 123; La Nez, Joseph Talamo, 118; Unzip Me, Rafael Bejarano, 123; Lilly Fa Pootz, Joel Rosario, 118; Reba Is Tops, Patrick Valenzuela, 118; Candace Gold, Martin Pedroza, 118, and Gilded Fem, no rider, 118.
The Monrovia Stakes is carded as the second race on a nine-race program that gets underway at 12:30 p.m.