Bart Evans’ homebred Wasted Tears scored her fifth consecutive win—this one by far her biggest—as she went wire-to-wire under Rajiv Maragh holding off champion Forever Together by a half-length in the $200,000 Jenny Wiley (gr. IIT) (VIDEO) April 10 at Keeneland.
A 5-year-old mare by Najran, Wasted Tears has now reached the winner’s circle in eight of her last nine starts, all of them coming in front-running fashion. Her other graded stakes wins entering the Jenny Wiley came in the 2009 Ouija Board Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Lone Star Park and last out in the Honey Fox (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park Feb. 20. Evans also trains the winner.
Breaking from post 3, Wasted Tears wasted no time doing what she does best—going to the front end. She posted sensible fractions in the 1 1/16-mile turf race, getting splits of :23.79, :47.62, and 1:11.35 while Carribean Sunset, Quiet Harbor, Forever Together, and Salve Germania all gave chase.
Wasted Tears came off the turn still holding a comfortable advantage and when she reached the eighth-pole had a 1 1/2-length lead. But Forever Together, the 2008 champion grass mare, was now in perfect striking position to the leader’s outside and had the entire stretch to run her down. Wasted Tears repelled the bid by finding more under heavy urging from Maragh.
The final time over the firm turf was 1:40.86. Forever Together and Julien Leparoux were one length in front of third-place Hot Cha Cha. Carribean Sunset was fourth in a field of seven.
The consistent dark bay or brown mare won for the ninth time in 14 career starts and upped her earnings to $436,598. She was bred in Kentucky and is out of the Greinton mare Wished and Roses.
"We had her at Palm Meadows and kept her down ther all winter," Evans said. "She ran twice after coming back from an eight-month layoff and she was coming back from about a two-month layoff (now).
"She just kept going up the notch," he said. "She just got better and better I just didn’t squeeze the lemon on her. You can only get so much out of them and I take my time. We got her ready for this (race). She's always run well over a firm turf course. This is the easiest course in the world to stay on the front end at a mile and a sixteenth."
Wasted Tears paid $11.60, $5.40, and $3.80 as the third choice. The exacta (3-2) returned $41.40 and the trifecta (3-2-7) was $229.40.
Forever Together trainer Jonathan Sheppard was happy with his charge's effort.
"I was very pleased," he said. "I knew (Wasted Tears) was the lone speed and if she was able to slow it down, which she did, she'd have enough left to hold us off."
Salve Germania was fifth, followed by Treat Gently, and Quiet Harbor.