03/20/2010 11:00PM

Tuscan Evening uncatchable in Santa Ana


ARCADIA, Calif. - Tuscan Evening is good enough to win when circumstances are against her. When they are all in her favor, she's practically unstoppable. Left alone on the front end in the Grade 2, $150,000 on Sunday at Santa Anita, Tuscan Evening turned on the jets down the stretch and scored a front-running, 1 1/4-length victory in the 1 1/8-mile grass race for older fillies and mares.

Tuscan Evening ($4), the favorite, was allowed to set pedestrian fractions of 24.80 seconds for the opening quarter-mile, 49.78 seconds for a half-mile, and 1:13.66 for six furlongs. Then, despite bobbling at the top of the stretch, she stormed home the final three furlongs in 34.37 seconds, which made it impossible for her seven rivals to catch her. She completed nine furlongs on firm turf in 1:48.03.

The victory by Tuscan Evening, 5, was the fourth straight on the card for jockey Rafael Bejarano, who just missed winning a fifth consecutive race when nosed out aboard Renzo Sean in the day's final race.

Cat by the Tale chased Tuscan Evening every step of the way in the Santa Ana and finished second, 1 3/4 lengths in front of third-place General Consensus, who rallied from last.

Tuscan Evening has now won three straight stakes ranging in distances from 6 1/2 furlongs down the hill to 1 1/8 miles. She has won 9 of her last 13 starts for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and owner William de Burgh.

"The last two weeks, she's never looked better," Hollendorfer said. "Some horses just blossom in the spring."