ARCADIA, Calif.—Reserved off the early pace, English-bred Evening Sun rallied for an impressive head victory in Friday’s $72,000 Santa Anita allowance feature. Ridden for the first time by Mike Smith and trained by Jeff Mullins, Evening Sun, who was making his second start of the meet, got a mile on turf in 1:34.02.
Next to last about four off eventual runner-up Tiz Plus heading into the far turn, Evening Sun remained under a snug hold mid-way around the turn and then four-wide turning for home and although he had three horses to catch a furlong out, was able to win under a hand ride late.
“I was able to talk to Jeff this morning and then Drayden (Van Dyke, who had ridden Evening Sun in all four of his stateside starts but was sidelined today due to a three-day suspension),” said Smith. “I was able to get him to turn off the first part and then after the first quarter, he kinda jumped into it a little bit.
“He’s strong, but once I was able to get him in behind horses, he was able to turn off again. I think if we can get him to (relax a little more), he’s going to have an even better turn of foot.”
Second, beaten a half-length at the same second condition allowance level going a mile and one eighth on turf Feb. 4, Evening Sun was the third choice at 7-2 and paid $9.00, $4.00 and $3.00.
Owned by Red Baron’s Barn, LLC and Rancho Temescal, LLC, Evening Sun, a 5-year-old gelding, picked up $43,200 for the win, increasing his earnings to $119,401 and his overall record to 13-3-3-1.
Ridden by Tyler Baze and trained by Mike Puype, Tiz Plus just missed in a huge effort to finish 1 ¾ lengths in front of 8-5 favorite Anaconda. Off at 9-2, Tiz Plus paid $4.20 and $3.40.
Anaconda, with Edwin Maldonado up, had a length and a half on the winner at the top of the lane and was third-best on the day while returning $2.80 to show.
Fractions, set by Tiz Plus, were 22.96, 45.98, 1:10.09 and 1:21.99.
First post time for a nine-race card on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. with admission gates opening at 10:30 a.m.
Santa Anita Press Release
Photo of Evening Sun by Benoit Photo