02/22/2011 4:01PM

Evening Jewel to face statebreds in Santa Anita's Valentine Dancer Handicap

Benoit & Associates
Evening Jewel, who was scratched out of Monday’s Buena Vista Handicap, is being pointed to Saturday’s Valentine Dancer Handicap for California-bred females at Santa Anita.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Evening Jewel, scratched out of Monday’s $150,000 Buena Vista Handicap at Santa Anita, will not be on the sidelines for long.

Trainer Jim Cassidy plans to start Evening Jewel, the 2010 California-bred horse of the year, in Saturday’s $100,000 Valentine Dancer Handicap over a mile on turf for statebred females.

Cassidy said he was uncomfortable with the conditions Monday, when Evening Jewel drew the outside post in the Buena Vista on a turf course that had sustained weekend rain.

“I’ve got a terrible post, the rails are out 15 feet, and it’s yielding,” Cassidy said. “It would have been hard to make up ground.”

Officially, the turf course was listed as firm on Monday, but Cassidy was concerned about the amount of rain that fell in preceding days. He said he must start Evening Jewel in the Valentine Dancer, regardless of what surface is used, since the 4-year-old filly is in need of a race. Weather forecasts call for the possibility of more rain this weekend.

Evening Jewel won the Sunshine Millions Distaff on the main track at Santa Anita on Jan. 29 in her more recent outing.

“I’ll have to run next week, but this way I can give her another work,” he said.

Buena Vista winner Cozi Rosie made a successful return from a layoff of nearly nine months to win the Grade 2 race by 1 1/4 lengths, closing from sixth in the final quarter-mile.

The style of the win suggests that the one-mile distance of the Buena Vista is at the minimum of the 4-year-old filly’s best distance. She was the morning-line favorite for the American Oaks at Hollywood Park last July before being withdrawn the day before the race because of injury.

On Monday, Cozi Rosie gave trainer John Sadler his eighth graded stakes win of the meeting. He leads all trainers in stakes wins with those eight victories, one more than Bob Baffert.

“I’m not counting,” Sadler said in the winner’s circle.

Cozi Rosie, who races for breeders Jerry and Ann Moss, could add to Sadler’s total in turf stakes such as the $150,000 Santa Ana over 1 1/8 miles on March 19 and the $150,000 Santa Barbara Handicap over 1 1/4 miles on April 16.

“We think she’ll want even more distance,” Sadler said.