Miss Sunset led all the way to gain a 2 1/2-length victory in the Spring Fever at Santa Anita Park

Miss Sunset led all the way to gain a 2 1/2-length victory in the Spring Fever at Santa Anita Park

Benoit Photo

Miss Sunset Speeds to Victory in Spring Fever

Into Mischief filly now has seven stakes wins.

Alan Klein and Philip Lebhen's Miss Sunset added to her impressive record with a frontrunning victory in the $100,000 Spring Fever Stakes Feb. 25 at Santa Anita Park.

The speedy, 4-year-old daughter of Into Mischief  broke best from post 3, took some heat on the inside from Shy Carmelita in the backstretch, and held off the field of California-bred fillies and mares late to win the six-furlong sprint by 2 1/2 lengths under jockey Mike Smith.

Long shot Cuddle Alert, off at 11-1, loomed at the top of the lane, but Miss Sunset widened her margin from 1 1/2 lengths to 2 1/2 in the final furlong to finish in 1:09.92. Cuddle Alert held for second, a half-length in front of 4-5 favorite Majestic Heat.

"She ran really well today and felt better than she's ever felt," Smith said of the 2017 Lexus Raven Run Stakes (G2) winner. "She just went out there and I just basically stayed out of her way. She's really, really quick. She's a little bit funny, because she runs with her head up for a little filly, and she tends to get out. She also dares you to grab her and try to straighten her out."

Miss Sunset ran the first quarter-mile in :22.42 and the half-mile in :45.68 to the delight of trainer Jeff Bonde.

"We got a soft first half-mile and that's what I was hoping for," Bonde said of the seven-time stakes winner. "This filly has been training really well. She beat herself the other day down the hill when she ducked into the fence (and finished third in the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf Sprint Jan. 27). She (came) back and breezed well, and it's great to see her run like this today."

Off at 6-5 in the field of five, Miss Sunset paid $4.40, $3, and $2.10. Cuddle Alert brought $6 and $2.40, and Majestic Heat paid $2.10 to show.

Bred by Klein and Premier Thoroughbreds, out of the Trippi mare Tuscan Sunset, Miss Sunset now has eight wins from 14 starts and $678,735 in earnings. Her stakes wins include three at the Cal-bred level (the 2016 Generous Portion, the 2017 Campanile on turf, and the Fleet Treat on dirt in 2017), the restricted C.E.R.F stakes, and two against open company (the Raven Run at Keeneland and the 2017 Sweet Life).

Video: Spring Fever S. (BT)