Trifonica to Challenge Males in Sunset Handicap

Edited from track reports
Tifonica, a 5-year-old Argentine-bred mare, will run against males in the $150,000 Sunset Handicap, closing-day feature at Hollywood Park next Sunday, trainer and co-owner Bill Currin confirmed.

"She's definitely going to take on the boys in the Sunset," Currin said Sunday of the grade II test at 1 1/2 miles on turf.

Tifonica comes off a two-length victory in a $55,000 allowance race against females at 1 1/4 miles on turf here June 5.

"She can run all day, and there are no girl races at a mile and a half," explained Currin of his decision.

Tifonica has recorded two firsts, three seconds and five thirds in 12 starts, all against females. Tyler Baze has the call back. She worked six furlongs in 1:14 4/5 Saturday.

Tifonica seeks to become the first female in 13 years to win the Sunset and the third in the 62-year history of the race. Petite Ile, a 4-year-old filly then, was the last distaffer to win the Sunset in 1990.Typecast, then 6, was the first in 1972.

A field of at least seven, headed by 2002 runner-up Continental Red, is shaping up for the Sunset. The probable lineup: Asong for Billy (Goncalino Almeida), Cagney (Mike Smith), Continental Red (Patrick Valenzuela), Nazirali (no rider), Puerto Banus (Gary Stevens), Stormin' Heaven (no rider) and Tifonica (Baze).

Possibles include Nates Colony, Something Rushing, Tijiyr and Timber Cruiser.