Richard Duggan and James R. Vreeland's Evening Promise closed from next-to-last to win the $111,700 Senator Ken Maddy Handicap (gr. IIIT) by a 1/2 length over 82-1 longshot Strawberry Way Wednesday at Santa Anita. The Kathy Walsh trainee was ridden by Kent Desormeaux and completed the about 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:13.05 while racing over firm turf.
"Kathy told me to have some confidence in the filly," Desormeaux said. "She told me not to worry if the filly was way back there because that's her style. When I got bottled up turning for home, it was just a matter of her finding some room because she was tugging so hard. All I needed was to find somewhere to run."
Strawberry Way finished a length ahead of third-place finisher Southern House. Optical Solution was fourth, followed by Chichim, Top Order, Reciclada, Risque Lady, Hookedonthefeelin, and Wired To Fly.
The winner paid $8.40, $5.20, and $3.60. The $1 exacta returned $206.20.
Evening Promise earned $67,020 for the win, her sixth victory in 23 starts. A 4-year-old, Evening Promise (Aragon -- Rosy Sunset, by Red Sunset) came into the race following a sixth-place finish in the Palomar Handicap (gr. IIIT), won by Tranqulity Lake. In April, she won the Las Cienegas Handicap (gr. IIIT), also on Santa Anita's downhill turf course. She was bred in Great Britain by Major W.R. Paton-Smith.
"She really likes this course," said Walsh. "She's run well here in the past. We're selling her in November at a Keeneland sale. She's a good filly and deserves another good year of racing." (Chart, Equibase