04/30/2017 7:35PM

Evo Campo, Bejarano reunite to capture Santa Barbara Stakes

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Benoit & Associates
Evo Campo is now 3 for 3 when ridden by Rafael Bejarano after scoring by 2 1/4 lengths in the Grade 3 Santa Barbara.

ARCADIA, Calif .- Evo Campo and jockey Rafael Bejarano had been a perfect team in the last year.

Last spring, Bejarano guided Evo Campo to consecutive wins in an optional claimer and the minor Possibly Perfect Stakes, both on turf at Santa Anita. They were reunited in Sunday’s Grade 3 Santa Barbara Stakes and benefited from a perfect trip to win the $101,035 race.

Evo Campo ($8.60) stalked pacesetter Responsibleforlove for the first mile of the race at 1 1/2 miles on turf and won comfortably by 2 1/4 lengths.

“I got her to relax and held her as long as I could,” Bejarano said.

Evo Campo was timed in 2:27.70.

“She had a good trip,” trainer Paddy Gallagher said. “She settled. Everything went her way, which doesn’t always happen.”

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Responsibleforlove, a stakes winner in Italy last year, finished second, a nose in front of Estrechada, who was second in the Astra Stakes at 1 1/2 miles on turf in February.

Place des Vosges, the 9-5 favorite, finished fourth, followed by Dressed to a T, Betty Draper, Hiking, and Mrs. Norris.

Laseen was scratched after unseating jockey Mike Smith when the field reached the gate and ran off. Laseen was 5-1 at the time. She did not appear to be injured in the incident.

Evo Campo, a 5-year-old mare by Approve, races for David and Michael Day and Mary DiPietro. A maiden race winner in England in 2014, Evo Campo has won 6 of 13 starts and earned $234,121. The Santa Barbara was her first graded stakes win.

Evo Campo could start in the $75,000 Possibly Perfect Stakes on June 4. This year, the race is being run at 1 1/4 miles, shorter than the 2016 distance of 1 1/2 miles.

Last year, Evo Campo did not race after the Possibly Perfect Stakes in June. Gallagher said she had foot issues that left her sidelined until this year when she finished fifth in the Grade 2 Santa Ana Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf on March 12 under jockey Brice Blanc.