02/10/2013 7:43PM

Santa Anita: Stevens completes weekend stakes sweep aboard Purim's Dancer in Wishing Well

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Benoit & Associates
Gary Stevens collects his second stakes victory since launching his comeback aboard Purim's Dancer in Sunday's Wishing Well Stakes.

ARCADIA, Calif. -  A session of video homework helped Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens win Sunday’s $86,500 Wishing Well Stakes at Santa Anita on the highly promising Purim’s Dancer.

Stevens rode Purim’s Dancer for the first time in the Wishing Well Stakes for female turf sprinters. In advance of the race, Stevens watched the replay of the filly’s win in an optional claimer on the hillside turf course on Jan. 18.

Purim’s Dancer closed from third that day to win by 2 1/4 lengths. In the Wishing Well, Purim’s Dancer ($8.80) closed from fourth to win by 3 1/4 lengths over the 16-1 shot Dancingtothestars.

“I tried to draw up the same trip and we got it,” Stevens said. “She’s got a good turn of foot. It was over in a matter of strides.”

The Wishing Well completed a memorable weekend for the 49-year-old Stevens, who returned to riding on a full-time basis after a seven-year absence on Jan. 6. Saturday, Stevens won the Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes on turf on Slim Shadey.

Purim’s Dancer, a former maiden claimer, made her stakes debut in the Wishing Well Stakes. Trained by Tom Proctor for the partnership of Dong Donnelly, Corey Johnsen, Lenny Kohn, and Gene McLean, Purim’s Dancer ran about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course in 1:12.25.

Purim’s Dancer was third on the hillside, chasing Nechez Dawn and Givine, who dueled through an early pace of 21.86 and 44.22 seconds.

Purim’s Dancer raced on the inside into the stretch and was two lengths in front with a furlong remaining.

Dancingtothestars finished 1 1/4 lengths in front of Byrama, the 5-2 favorite. Schiaparelli was fourth, followed by Nechez Dawn, Jet Blue Girl, Rumor, Candrea, Givine, Unkept Rendez Vous, and Madera Castana.

Givine broke through the gate before the start, unseating jockey Tyler Baze, but was deemed fit to run.

Purim’s Dancer has won 4 of 6 starts and $117,960. By Purim, Purim’s Dancer began her career in maiden claimers at Gulfstream Park and Arlington Park. She won her second career start in a $25,000 claimer for maidens at Arlington Park last September.