08/11/2013 10:40AM

Evangeline Downs: Brethren scores upset in Evangeline Mile Handicap


OPELOUSAS, La. – Relishing the off going, Brethren ($20.80) stalked the early pace before splashing home 3 1/4 lengths the best in Saturday night’s $125,000 Evangeline Mile Handicap.

Fellow longshot Arkansas Martini rallied from last to finish second, 1 1/4 lengths in front of even-money favorite and 118-pound highweight Sabercat. It Happened Again reported home fourth, followed by Smoke It Right and pacesetter Unitas. Sweetsouthernmoon was a late scratch.

The final time of 1:36.01 over the sloppy strip was just 0.26 seconds off the track record set by Sunbean in the Legends Mile last month.

Trained by Steve Asmussen for Winchell Thoroughbreds and Winstar Farm and ridden by leading jockey Diego Saenz, Brethren won for the first time this year and the fifth time overall from 17 starts. The son of Distorted Humor picked up $75,000 for his efforts and now has earned more than $385,000.

Darren Fleming, a longtime assistant to Asmussen, who also trains Sabercat, said, "It really helped that Brethren had a race over the track, plus with his pedigree, we were confident he would have no problems with the wet surface, and he didn’t. Sabercat is a good horse, and he always gives his best, but tonight was just Brethren’s night."