Sunday Break tracked pacesetting favorite Raven Power early on before edging clear of that rival late to win a $54,000 allowance race for 3-year-olds on Friday at Santa Anita.
The field for the 1 1/16-mile race was small, but the connections of the five horses entered each hoped the race would provide a stepping stone on the road to the Kentucky Derby. On Friday, Japanese-bred Sunday Break (Forty Niner -- Catequil, by Storm Cat) proved best, completing his first two-turn race in 1:43 on a fast track, two lengths in front of Raven Power.
"I like the way he did it today," said winning rider Gary Stevens. "He's progressed with every one of his races. He's an intelligent, classy colt. Nothing bothers him."
Raven Power finished a half-length clear of Azillion, with Hot Contest and Gold Dollar completing the order of finish.
Sunday Break is trained by Neil Drysdale for owner Koji Maeda. Sunday Break earned $32,400 for the win, his second in four career starts.
Drysdale also trained Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus, who earned his second career victory in a similar allowance race on Feb. 19, 2000 when making his first start in a two-turn race.
Sunday Break is a half-brother of two-time Japanese champion Phalaenopsis (by Brian's Time). (Chart, Equibase