Trudy McCaffery, John Toffan and Robert Sangster's Bienamado reeled in early pacesetter Self Feeder racing into the third turn and drew away through the stretch to win the $250,000 Sunset Handicap (gr. IIT) by 1 1/2 lengths Sunday at Hollywood Park. Deploy Venture finished second, 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Single Empire. Self Feeder came home fourth, followed by Neotorque. The coupled wagering interest of Bienamado and Single Empire was sent off as the heavy favorite and returned $2.40 and $2.10. The $1 exacta was worth $2.10. With only four wagering interests, there was no show wagering.
Four-year-old Bienamado (Bien Bien--Nakterjal, by Vitiges) earned $150,000 for the win, his fourth in nine starts. The Paco Gonzalez trainee won the restricted Jim Murray Handicap by seven lengths in June. The Sunset win keeps his record unblemished as a 4-year-old. He raced primarily in Europe as a sophomore before concluding the year with a fifth-place finish in the Canadian International (gr. I) at Woodbine in October. He was bred in Kentucky by Toffan and McCaffery.
Under jockey Chris McCarron, Bienamado completed the 1 1/2 miles in 2:25.06 while running over firm turf.
"This was a very nice run today," said Gonzalez. "Chris (McCarron) said that the horse wasn't pulling hard like he did last time. He said the horse was very relaxed and when he asked him, he made his move. It looked very handy to me." (Chart, Equibase)