A step slow to start, Sunday Rules' speed was still too much to beat in the $150,000 Spring Fever Stakes May 23 at Santa Anita Park (VIDEO).
Nick Alexander's homebred 4-year-old filly broke from the gate in second, behind Tribal Gal, but quickly sped to the front and went on to win by three lengths to keep her unblemished record intact in the six-furlong stakes restricted to older fillies or mares bred or sired in California.
The lightly-raced daughter of Tribal Rule, who had won all four of her previous races in gate-to-wire fashion, still led at every point of call, setting fractions of :21.60 and :44.11, before hitting the wire at 1:08.93 on a dirt course rated fast.
"She's (wasn't) really fast out of the gate, but after that, she's a monster," winning jockey Tyler Baze said. "She's a train, really. She just goes. That first stride, she's got to get her feet up under her, but after that, she's a machine."
The relatively-slow beginning wasn't a concern to trainer Phil D'Amato, either.
"She's sat behind horses in the morning and steadily gobbled them up, so I really wasn't that concerned," D'Amato said. "I know her form shows she's been in front all the time, but she's just naturally so fast."
Off at 3-10 odds, the winner paid $2.60, $2.20, and $2.10 across the board. Second-place finisher Sidepocket Run returned $13.60 and $4.40. Tribal Gal, a nose back, delivered $3.40 to show.
Out of the General Meeting mare Sunday Dress, Sunday Rules only raced once in 2014, when she won allowance race at Santa Anita. She broke her maiden at first asking during Del Mar's summer meet in 2013 and won the Generous Portion Stakes at Del Mar that same year. With 5-for-5 record, her earnings now sit at $314,880.
D'Amato says he'll likely try Sunday Rules in open company and graded stakes sprints in the near future.
"She couldn't be doing any better right now and I just think it's (about) getting over her little baby issues," D'Amato said. "Now, hopefully I'll be able to map out a nice campaign for the future."
Meinertzhageni was fourth, followed by Harlington's Rose and Shakeitupbetty, to complete the order of finish.
In other California-bred stakes races on the "California Gold Rush" card at Santa Anita, Go West Marie won the $125,000 Fran's Valentine Stakes (a mile on the turf) by 1 1/4 lengths with jockey Gary Stevens aboard for trainer Eddie Truman (VIDEO), and Sheer Pleasure romped in the $200,000 Melair Stakes (1 1/16 miles on dirt) by 7 1/4 lengths with Baze aboard for D'Amato (VIDEO). Both winners were odds-on favorites.
In the $200,000 Snow Chief Stakes (1 1/8 miles on turf), jockey Flavien Prat and Neveradoubt found space between horses in the stretch and surged to win by a half-length at odds of 41-1 (VIDEO). With fellow longshot Temple Keys finishing second behind the Mike Puype trainee, the $1 exacta paid $702.60.
Baze made it three stakes wins on the day with a three-quarter length victory aboard even-money Motown Men in the $150,000 Tiznow Stakes (mile on dirt) for owner Gulliver Racing and trainer Ted West (VIDEO).