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.

 

FMeatball More than 1 year ago
WHOOP WHOOP .....Had the exacta $124.00 !! Thanks Gary way to go ! Still #1 in our hearts ! xxxxxxxxx
Bruce Baudoux More than 1 year ago
Was that Georgie Wolfe on that horse, or Gary Stevens, they look so alike. Way to go old man, keep it up.
Chantal Smithless More than 1 year ago
Way to go Gary!!!!! Can't tell you how glad everyone is that you decided to come back! Best of luck and continued success. Hope you have so many Derby mount offers you have a hard time choosing.
John More than 1 year ago
Funny how some horse's just love this hillside course. Looking at the form, I had about 4-5 horses marked above her, especially class wise, but once they get a feel for this hill, its "wave em good bye muchachos" Seems lots of fillys really get good on this course. It will be interesting if this filly and Mi sdirection hook up later in the meet , they both seem to be heading for the title UNZIP ME left, "Queen of the Hill "
Mike Armstrong More than 1 year ago
dreeeeeam trip for stevens..... leaders went 6 wide at the top of the stretch and stevens waved good bye up the rail..... so awesome to see stevens killing these stake races at the great race place
Bruce Baudoux More than 1 year ago
All two of them!
Jock More than 1 year ago
Keep up the good work GARY.Glad to see you back? I hope to see you in the Derby.
Dominic More than 1 year ago
WAY TO GO MR STEVENS HOPE TO SEE YOU IN THE KY DERBY THIS YEAR IM GLAD YOUR BACK ALLWAYS HAVE AND ALLWAYS WILL GIVE A GOOD RIDE ON A HORSE FROM A CLAIMER TO A STAKES HORSE!! THUMBS UP TO YOU.
Gene More than 1 year ago
I wonder if he thinks this is the best filly he has ever ridden???
Gunner More than 1 year ago
Nice win, it looked like Gary was on the only horse that had her mind on running.
ctgreyhound More than 1 year ago
Picking up where he left off......go Gary!!!! And he always has his "other" career to fall back on.