Evening Promise Wins Monrovia on Favorite Course

Evening Promise rallied from 10th-place in the 12-horse field to win the $114,400 Monrovia Handicap (gr. IIIT) Friday on the downhill turf course at Santa Anita. Under jockey Kent Desormeaux, the 17-10 favorite won by two lengths over 52-1 longshot Squall Linda, completing the distance in 1:12.62 on firm turf.

In her last start, Evening Promise used similar tactics to win the Senator Ken Maddy Handicap (gr. IIIT) over the same course. Friday's win improves her career record on the Santa Anita turf to five wins from six starts.

"I just decided to swing outside because I knew I had so much horse underneath me," Desormeaux said. "She's just a very nice horse. She goes down the hill, and around the right hand turn and the left hand turn with her ears straightforward. She just soaks it all in, completely relaxed. Most of these horses, they probably get confused over this course, but (Evening Promise) is a pro. Kathy gets her ready and the filly answers all of the questions."

New Heaven finished third, followed by High Margin, Aviate, Coracle, Housekeeper, Dusty Heather, Automated, Squall City, Strawberry Way, and Vinka.

Evening Promise (Aragon -- Rosy Sunset, by Red Sunset) earned $68,640 for owners Richard Duggan and James R. Vreeland while improving her career mark to seven wins from 24 starts. The 4-year-old filly was bred in Great Britain by Major W.R. Paton-Smith. She raced in England for trainer Bryan McMahon for her first 13 starts. Since beginning her American racing career in November of 1999, Evening Promise has won five of 11 starts, including the Las Cienegas Handicap (gr. IIIT).

Evening Promise returned $5.40, $3.80, and $3. Squall Linda paid $26.20 and $18.60 and completed a $1 exacta worth $98.10. New Heaven was worth $8.20 to show. (Chart, Equibase)