04/05/2014 5:20PM

Santa Anita: Rovenna gets first stakes win in Evening Jewel


ARCADIA, Calif. – With three furlongs remaining in Saturday’s $200,250 Evening Jewel Stakes at Santa Anita, jockey Victor Espinoza decided to challenge the competition aboard Rovenna.

Rovenna was disputing the pace when Espinoza urged the filly clear. She responded to take a two-length lead and held it to the finish of the race over 6 1/2 furlongs for California-bred 3-year-old fillies.

“I wanted to do that,” he said. “I wanted to beat everybody and take an advantage. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.”

Rovenna ($5) was timed in 1:15.55. She finished 2 3/4 lengths in front of Harlington’s Rose, who closed from fifth in the field of nine. Cause Ur My Babe, an 8-1 shot, finished third, followed by Sprouts, Princess Genevieve, Gouyen, Chati’s On Top, Sprague River, and Norastone.

Rovenna set an early pace of 21.81 and 44.48 seconds. She has shown speed in the past, a tactic that Espinoza wanted to use on a track that played friendly to front-runners Saturday.

“That’s her style, and I decided I wanted to go to the lead,” he said.

The Evening Jewel was Rovenna’s first stakes win in her eighth start. The win was worth $110,000 for owner and breeder Don Dizney and trainer Mike Machowsky. Rovenna won an optional claimer for California-breds over 6 1/2 furlongs on Feb. 17. She was second in the Soviet Problem Stakes at Hollywood Park on Dec. 21 and third in the California Cup Oaks on turf Jan. 25.

Rovenna beat maidens at Calder last July before being sent to Machowsky at Del Mar. Rovenna, by Vronsky, has won 3 of 8 starts and earned $257,760.