06/05/2009 11:00PM

Tuscan Evening wins despite antics


With a slight flare for the dramatic, Tuscan Evening won her first stakes in the $74,525 Redondo Beach Stakes at Hollywood Park on Saturday.

Four times on the backstretch of the one-mile turf race, Tuscan Evening jumped shadows created by infield light poles. Through the stretch, she was fully extended to hold off a determined run by Gotta Have Her.

Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Tuscan Evening ($6.20) won by a half-length in 1:33.78. Charming Legacy finished third, a head behind Gotta Have Her in the field of nine fillies and mares.

Tuscan Evening, the favorite, took the early lead from the longshot Bahama Mama through early fractions of 23.89 and 46.97 seconds. Tuscan Evening jumped a shadow as she reached the backstretch and did so three more times before the half-mile pole.

Bahama Mama faded from contention in early stretch, leaving Tuscan Evening in front by two lengths at the eighth pole. Gotta Have Her, who was five wide on the final turn, closed well to just miss.

Tuscan Evening, 4, has won 4 of 16 starts and $227,408. Owned by William de Burgh and trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Tuscan Evening has won 4 of 5 starts since arriving from Ireland last winter as a maiden. Her only loss was a third in the Grade 3 Las Cienegas Handicap on Santa Anita's hillside turf course on April 12. Last year in Ireland, she finished second in the Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas.