ARCADIA, Calif. -- Tuscan Evening finished a perfect season at Santa Anita's winter-spring meeting with her fourth stakes win of the year on turf in Saturday's $150,000 Santa Barbara Handicap.
The Grade 2 Santa Barbara was Tuscan Evening's first start over 1 1/4 miles on turf, a distance she that proved to be no problem. Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Tuscan Evening ($2.60) was timed in 2:00.22 and finished a length in front of General Consensus in the field of four fillies and mares.
"She relaxed really well," said Tuscan Evening's trainer, Jerry Hollendorfer. "She had plenty left when Rafael asked her."
Tuscan Evening led throughout. She set a slow pace of 24.56 and 49.02 seconds, leading by as much as 1 1/2 lengths. A 5-year-old mare, Tuscan Evening was never really threatened. Bejarano never resorted to using his whip and General Consensus was held in the stretch.
Restless Soul, who tracked Tuscan Evening for the first mile, finished third, 4 3/4 lengths behind General Consensus. Eclair de Lune was last.
Owned by William de Burgh, Tuscan Evening has won 10 of 25 starts and $899,408. Earlier this year, she won the Grade 3 Monrovia Handicap over about 6 1/2 furlongs, Grade 2 Buena Vista Handicap over a mile and Grade 2 Santa Ana Handicap over 1 1?8 miles.
The win in the Santa Barbara gives de Burgh and Hollendorfer more options later this year, the trainer said. Hollendorfer said Tuscan Evening's next race is expected to be the $250,000 Gamely Stakes, a Grade 1 over 1 1/8 miles on turf at Hollywood Park on May 29.