03/27/2016 7:35PM

Sheer Pleasure takes overland route in Dream of Summer Stakes

Benoit & Associates
Despite racing wide for much of the race under Martin Garcia, Sheer Pleasure won the Dream of Summer Stakes on Sunday.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Sheer Pleasure raced wide throughout Sunday’s $101,380 Dream of Summer Stakes at Santa Anita and still won her first stakes in 10 months and third of her career.

“She earned that one,” trainer Phil D’Amato said.

Ridden by Martin Garcia, Sheer Pleasure ($10.20) broke from the outside in a field of nine California-bred fillies and mares and raced four wide on the first turn and three wide on the final turn of the one-mile race. Sheer Pleasure stalked pacesetter Swissarella for the first six furlongs and moved closer to the leader in early stretch. Trailing by a length with a furlong to go, Sheer Pleasure took the lead in the last sixteenth and won by a half-length over Kiss at Midnight, finishing a mile in 1:36.82.

Kiss at Midnight, the 2-1 favorite, was eighth midway through the race and closed well to finish second, a head in front of 7-1 Swissarella. Singing Kitty finished fourth, followed by Tiz a Kiss, Ashley’s Sassy, Light One, Melanistic, and Lucy in Diamonds.

Sheer Pleasure, a 4-year-old by Birdonthewire, has won 4 of 11 starts and earned $383,030. Last spring, Sheer Pleasure won consecutive stakes against California-bred 3-year-old fillies in the $201,000 Evening Jewel Stakes and $196,000 Melair Stakes.

The Dream of Summer Stakes was Sheer Pleasure’s first victory against older fillies and mares and ended a five-race losing streak since the Melair.

Sheer Pleasure has made four starts at the winter-spring meeting at Santa Anita. Sheer Pleasure was sixth in an optional claimer on Jan. 10 and eighth in the Wishing Well Stakes on Jan. 31 before running second in an optional claimer on March 5 as a prep for Sunday’s race.

“The [first] two races off a layoff didn’t do her justice,” D’Amato said. “Long on the dirt is what she wants to do.”

Sheer Pleasure races for the Little Red Feather syndicate and RM Racing.