02/02/2011 3:32PM

Evening Concerto ends long drought by upsetting Winter Handicap


Evening Concerto had not finished first in his last nine starts, a span of eight months, but broke through with a big performance to upset Tuesday night’s $35,100 Winter Handicap at Charles Town.

Facing six opponents that included 1-5 favorite Peppi Knows, the runner-up in the Grade 2 Remsen in 2009, plus 2010 stakes winners Peaceful Bliss and Rummy’s Command, the 4-year-old Evening Concerto ($24.20) took command in the stretch of the seven-furlong overnight stakes to draw clear by 2 ¼ lengths under Erick Ramirez.

Locally based with trainer Ollie Figgins III, Evening Concerto had not finished first since taking a second-level allowance last May, although he was awarded a victory via disqualification in October. He ran the distance on a fast, sealed track in 1:27.25.

Rummy’s Command, who upset the Mountaineer’s Sophomore Sprint at 18-1 odds three starts ago, got second at 24-1, 2 ¼ lengths in front of 11-1 longshot Leobuster.

Peppi Knows led through a half-mile in 47.76 seconds before fading in the stretch to finish fifth.