05/31/2010 12:00AM

Tuscan Evening may head to Arlington


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Tuscan Evening, who extended her 2010 winning streak to five races in Saturday's Gamely Stakes at Hollywood Park, may become a Midwest girl this summer.

Monday, Dan Ward, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer's assistant, said the $200,000 Modesty Handicap at Arlington Park on July 17 may be Tuscan Evening's next start, designed as a prep for the $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes, also at Arlington Park, on Aug. 21. Both races are over 1 3/16 miles on turf.

The timing of the Grade 3 Modesty Handicap is why the race is being considered.

"It's 49 days from the last race and 35 days to the Beverly D.," Ward said. "We can see if she likes the turf [at Arlington] and the race is good timing. You can't go three months and try to get 1 3/16 miles."

As a backup plan, Tuscan Evening could start in the $150,000 Royal Heroine Mile on turf at Hollywood Park on July 3, but Ward said the timing of that race is not as ideal.

The Gamely brought together the best field that Tuscan Evening has faced this year. She got a test in early stretch from Forever Together, the 2008 champion turf female, but held off that challenge to win by a half-length.

"I just hit her a couple of times, and when she saw that other mare coming, she really dug in," jockey Rafael Bejarano said after the race.

Cat by the Tale, the winner of the Grade 2 San Gorgonio Handicap at Santa Anita in January, was third, with Well Monied, the winner of the Grade 2 Honeymoon Handicap in 2009, finishing fourth in the field of seven.

Earlier this year, Tuscan Evening won four graded turf stakes at Santa Anita, ranging in distance from about 6 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/4 miles. Her win in the Santa Barbara over 1 1/4 miles gives Hollendorfer and ownerWill deBurgh confidence that Tuscan Evening can handle the Beverly D. distance.

"I don't think she has a best distance," Hollendorfer said after the Gamely. "She does what she has to do."

There were signs on Monday that the Gamely took little energy from Tuscan Evening. She was only walked at the barn, but she showed no indication of a loss of appetite.

"We couldn't keep her out of the tub," Ward said. "She finishes and she starts banging it around."

The Gamely was Tuscan Evening's sixth stakes win in her last seven starts. Last November, she won the Grade 2 Las Palmas Handicap at Santa Anita and was second to Ventura in the Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes at Hollywood Park. In her career, she has won 11 of 26 starts and $1,049,408.

After Saturday's winner's circle ceremony, Hollendorfer and deBurgh each slung a leg over a railing in the winner's circle and talked about the race, and future plans.

The winner's circle has been a meeting point for the two men frequently in recent months, but the magnitude of Tuscan Evening's first Grade 1 win on Saturday was not lost on deBurgh. "Now we can really have some fun," he said.