ARCADIA, Calif. –Idle since a dominant stakes win in early September, Nick Alexander’s homebred Connie Swingle heads an outstanding field of nine California-bred or sired sophomore fillies going 6 ½ furlongs in Saturday’s $150,000 Evening Jewel Stakes at Santa Anita.
The Evening Jewel is part of the lucrative Golden State Series, which is sponsored by the CTBA and is for eligible California-bred or sired runners.
In what was her third start, Connie Swingle popped the gate and then sat a close second early in an impressive 3 ¼ length score going six furlongs versus statebreds in the Generous Portion Stakes at Del Mar Sept. 3 as the 3-5 favorite. This followed a rousing 7 ½ length maiden win going 5 ½ furlongs on Aug. 6, a race in which she was off as the 4-5 favorite in a field of 10.
Trained by Phil D’Amato, Connie Swingle, who is by Grazen and is out of the Sky Mesa mare Sky Marni, worked a bullet 59 flat (best of 43) out of the gate here on Sunday morning and should be on edge for a big effort Saturday when ridden for the first time by Kyle Frey.
Fresh off a big allowance win on grass, the Cliff Sise-trained Youteyourhonor rates a huge chance at 6 ½ furlongs on dirt in what will be her seventh career start.
Taken back to last early in a one mile statebred turf allowance here on March 26, Youteyourhonor encountered serious traffic trouble between horses in the run to the far turn and although she was shuffled back at a critical point in the race, she mounted a huge rally four-deep turning for home and powered to an impressive half length victory as the 8-5 favorite.
A three-time winner sprinting on dirt, Youteyourhonor has the credentials to prevail in her first stakes assignment with Mike Smith up for the first time. A filly by Danzing Candy out of the Ministers Wild Cat mare Melanistic, Youteyourhonor was bred by Halo Farms and is owned by Halo’s Ted Aroney, Bertrand Hug, Philip Henry and Kathleen Henry.
With an overall mark of 6-4-1-0, Youteyourhonor has earnings of $146,340.
George Krikorian’s homebred Big Novel, twice second to Connie Swingle, also comes off a big one mile allowance win on turf, as saved ground en route to a 1 ¼ length score versus open company as the 3-5 favorite here on Feb. 11 and retains the services of John Velazquez.
Second, beaten one length two starts back in the one mile turf California Cup Oaks on Jan. 15, she was second going one mile on dirt in the statebred Soviet Problem Stakes at Los Alamitos Dec. 10 and was second four starts back in the seven furlong Golden State Juvenile Fillies at Del Mar Nov. 5.
Trained by John Sadler, Big Novel, a California-bred daughter of Mr. Big out of the Heatseeker mare Steamy Novel, was a rousing 3 ¼ length six furlong maiden winner here on Oct. 2. With a win, three seconds and a third place finish from five tries on dirt, Big Novel is well positioned to annex her first stakes score as she tries to turn the tables on Connie Swingle in what will be their third engagement. With an overall mark of 7-2-4-1, she has earnings of $195,250.
THE EVENING JEWEL WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 10 of 12 Approximate post time 4:30 p.m. PT
Big Novel–John Velazquez–122
Connie Swingle–Kyle Frey–124
Carmen Miranda–Umberto Rispoli–120
Munny Penny–Edwin Maldonado–120
At the Spa–Tyler Baze–124
Professor’s Pride–Juan Hernandez–124
Power Surge–Ricardo Gonzalez–120
Everlys Girl–Victor Espinoza–120
Special early first post time on Runhappy Santa Anita Derby Day this Saturday is at 12 noon, with admission gates opening at 10 a.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.
Santa Anita Press Release
Photo: Connie Swingle (Benoit Photo)