04/11/2010 11:00PM

Tuscan Evening keeps on stretching


ARCADIA, Calif. - In one-furlong increments, Tuscan Evening has conquered the female turf division in California this year, winning graded stakes over about 6 1/2 furlongs, one mile, and 1 1/8 miles.

On Saturday, she will try something new in the $150,000 Santa Barbara Handicap, racing over 1 1/4 miles on turf at Santa Anita.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer is not concerned about the longer trip, considering the way that Tuscan Evening has dominated the opposition this year.

"She got a mile and an eighth, and it looked like she did that fairly easily, so we want to try a mile and a quarter," Hollendorfer said. "If she handles it well, it opens up other options."

Owned by William de Burgh, Tuscan Evening has won 9 of 24 starts and $809,408 in her career and 9 of 13 since her debut in the United States in early 2009. In Ireland as a 3-year-old in 2007, her campaign was highlighted by a surprise second at 66-1 in the Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas.

Tuscan Evening may be in the best form of her career this year. In the Grade 3 Monrovia on the hillside turf course and Grade 2 Buena Vista over a mile, she stalked the pace before taking the lead in the stretch. In the Grade 2 Santa Ana over 1 1/8 miles on March 21, she led throughout, winning by 1 1/4 lengths over Cat by the Tale, a probable starter in the Santa Barbara.

In the Grade 2 Santa Barbara, Tuscan Evening will be a strong favorite and the 124-pound highweight. She may not have many rivals. Cat by the Tale, who won the San Gorgonio Handicap in January, and Eclair de Lune, who was group stakes placed in France last year, are other candidates.

Tuscan Evening has helped Hollendorfer win seven stakes at this meeting, the most recent of which was Dream Nettie's upset in Saturday's La Puente Stakes over 1 1/8 miles on turf for 3-year-olds. Dream Nettie made his stakes debut in the La Puente, his ninth start.

"It was a nice surprise," Hollendorfer said. "He looks like a horse that is coming around."

Dream Nettie could start at Hollywood Park, in a race such as the $100,000 Will Rogers Handicap on turf June 20.

The 3-year-old filly Blind Luck won the Grade 1 Las Virgenes Stakes here in February for Hollendorfer and is on course for the Kentucky Oaks on April 30. She worked a half-mile in 47.80 seconds Sunday and will be based at Santa Anita until the start of Oaks week, Hollendorfer said.

Bourbon Bay tops San Juan Capistrano

Sunday is the closing day of the spring-summer meeting, and the top race that day is the historic San Juan Capistrano Handicap over about 1 3/4 miles on turf. Hollywood Park opens its spring-summer meeting next Wednesday.

The San Juan Capistrano field is expected to be led by Bourbon Bay, who has emerged as the leader of the turf marathon division in California this year, with wins in two Grade 2 handicaps over 1 1/2 miles - the San Luis Obispo in February and San Luis Rey in March. Bourbon Bay will carry high weight of 122 pounds.

Stalingrad, who won an allowance race over 1 1/8 miles on turf March 11 in his first start in more than 17 months, is another probable starter. Stalingrad placed in turf stakes at Saratoga and Belmont Park in 2008 but missed all of 2009 because of injury.

Princess Taylor, the lowweight at 110 pounds, is scheduled to arrive from Ireland early in the week. She has won 3 of 32 starts racing in England and Dubai and was stakes-placed in England twice last year.

Owned by Ronan Lambe, Princess Taylor is expected to stay in this country with trainer Paddy Gallagher after the San Juan Capistrano.

Yogaroo returns in allowance

Ron Brewer has mixed memories of his trip to Royal Ascot last summer.

There was the delight in watching Jealous Again win the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes on June 17, but the disappointment, and some embarrassment, when Yogaroo finish ninth the next day in the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes after causing trouble midway through the race.

"He led halfway down there and took out half the field," Brewer recalled Sunday, standing at Clocker's Corner at Santa Anita. "They said, 'Whose horse is that?' I said, 'I don't know.' "

Yogaroo, then trained by Wesley Ward, made one more start last year, finishing ninth as the 2-1 favorite in the I'm Smokin Stakes for statebreds at Del Mar. On Wednesday at Santa Anita, Yogaroo makes his 3-year-old debut, and first start for trainer Jeff Mullins, in an allowance race over 6 1/2 furlongs.

"He needed time off," Brewer said. "I think it did him some good."

Yogaroo was sent to Mullins because Brewer wanted the horse to race in California this year since the gelding was bred in this state and is eligible for additional purse bonuses.

"We'll see if we can't pick up some of those conditions," Brewer said.

Maiden winner DQ'd for positive test

The $15,000 purse of a maiden claimer at Santa Anita on Feb. 4 has been ordered redistributed after race winner Sarabella Mia tested positive for the banned painkiller indomethacin, according to a ruling issued by Santa Anita stewards on Saturday.

Sarabella Mia won the seven-furlong race by a nose over 42-1 Hostile Reaction. In their ruling, stewards Scott Chaney, Kim Sawyer, and Tom Ward ordered a return of the winner's share of the prize money by owners Allen and Susan Branch ($7,200), jockey Martin Garcia ($835), and trainer Mark Glatt ($900).

Chaney and Ward said Sunday that indomethacin is not allowed to appear in post-race tests. The test was analyzed at the University of California-Davis.

The stewards revised the order of finish, promoting Hostile Reaction, Secret Oath, Warren's Player, Teenage Dancer, and Eastern Sunrise one position each.