03/29/2012 3:07PM

Santa Anita: Starlight Magic returns for Evening Jewel Stakes

Benoit & Associates
Starlight Magic will make her first start since the fall in Saturday's $200,000 Evening Jewel at Santa Anita.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Starlight Magic was sidelined last fall with minor bone chips in an ankle and knee after winning the California Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita. She picked a good time to be injured.

Five months later, Starlight Magic is ready to resume racing at an ideal time for a 3-year-old California-bred filly. She starts in Saturday’s $200,000 Evening Jewel over 6 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita, a race that is part of the newly created Golden State Series for statebreds.

Trainer Mark Glatt said that tending to Starlight Magic’s minor injuries last fall ensured that she could be back in time for the Evening Jewel, a prep for the $300,000 Melair Stakes for 3-year-old California-bred fillies at Hollywood Park on April 28.

“It was time to give her a brief break,” Glatt said. “Not too many 2-year-olds run four or five times and run all the way through” the winter.

“There are three races coming up and to have her at 100 percent makes good sense,” Glatt said.

He has the Fleet Treat Stakes at Del Mar this summer as another long-term goal.

Glatt described the size of the chips as “flakes.

“We thought if we pushed it, we could jeopardize this time of year,” he said.

Owned by Cory Wagner, Starlight Magic has won 2 of 4 starts and $96,780. After finishing fourth twice on a Polytrack synthetic surface at Del Mar last summer, including in the Generous Portion Stakes for statebreds on Aug. 31, she beat maidens at Santa Anita in her dirt track debut last October. She won the Cal Cup Juvenile Fillies as the 3-5 favorite.

“She seems to like real dirt,” Glatt said.

Starlight Magic is part of a field of 13 in the Evening Jewel, which is being run for the first time. By Marino Marini, Starlight Magic is one of two stakes winners in the field along with Heleonor Rugby, who won the CTBA Stakes and Generous Portion Stakes last summer.

In her only start this year, Heleonor Rugby was fourth in a $60,000 allowance race for California-bred 3-year-old fillies on March 8. The first two finishers of that race – Vicki Victoria and Briteness – will play prominent roles in the Evening Jewel.

Vicki Victoria, who has won 2 of 10 starts, is a threat as a stalker.

Briteness, trained by Carla Gaines, is expected to have the lead.

“She’s quick,” Gaines said. “She’s just natural, not rank at all.”

Briteness started on the rail in her last start and breaks from post 8 in the Evening Jewel. Aside from Starlight Magic and Vicki Victoria, Starry Skies is a threat from off the pace.

Trained by Marty Jones, Starry Skies closed from ninth in a field of 10 to score an impressive win on the hillside turf course in her career debut March 2.