TUSCAN EVENING EYES THIRD STRAIGHT IN SUNDAY’S LAS CIENEGAS

Tuscan Evening seeks her third straight win in the United States in Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Las Cienegas Handicap for older fillies and mares at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf.

The Irish-bred daughter of Oasis Dream trained by Jerry Hollendorfer for owner William de Burgh broke her maiden by five lengths Jan. 22 in her U.S. debut on Santa Anita’s unique downhill course, then came back to win an allowance race on the same course by nearly four lengths on Feb. 28.

Garrett Gomez, one win shy of tying Santa Anita’s meet record for stakes wins shared by Laffit Pincay Jr. and Corey Nakatani, comes in from Keeneland to ride. Gomez was aboard Tuscan Evening in her previous two victories here.

Tuscan Evening worked four furlongs on Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride Wednesday in :49.20.

“She went fantastic,” Hollendorfer assistant Dan Ward said. “We expected her to run well from the time we got her. She was second in the Irish Guineas at 66-1 last year as a maiden, beaten only a head. She’s the kind of horse you want to have come here, horses with potential and conditions available.

“I know when I was with Bobby (Frankel, for more than two decades), most of the horses that came over and did well had broken their maiden (in Europe) and still had conditions. Those are the horses that did well, not the ones with the big reputations.”

Speaking of horses with big reputations, Kentucky Derby contender Chocolate Candy, second to favored Pioneerof the Nile in the Santa Anita Derby, is scheduled to have one workout at Santa Anita before shipping to Kentucky for the Run for the Roses on May 2.

“He’ll work Saturday or Sunday here, maybe Saturday, and likely leave on the 23rd for Kentucky,” Ward said of the son of Candy Ride. “He came out of the race in good shape. It was a slow pace and he was a little wide, but otherwise, he ran his race.”

Ward added that after this meet that ends April 19, Hollendorfer’s Santa Anita-based horses will move to Hollywood Park, where he has 40 stalls.

Probable for the 35th Las Cienegas: Dawn After Dawn, Joel Rosario; Gorgeous Goose, Rafael Bejarano; Gotta Have Her, Tyler Baze; and Tuscan Evening, Garrett Gomez.


POWELL! RIGHT IN A STAKES RACE FOR SCARLETT’S PLACE

With only seven nominations to Saturday’s $70,000 Santa Lucia Handicap for older fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles, trainer Leonard Powell deduced it was an ideal race to enter maiden winner Scarlett’s Place.

The 5-year-old Kentucky-bred mare by Out of Place, owned by Glenda Perryman of Brenham, Texas, who races as La Bahia Stud, Inc., is coming off a fourth-place finish at one mile on Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride on March 14.

“Her last race was her first in nine months,” Powell said. “She went OK. She needed the race. She still has her first condition, but this race came up light, so we hope to get some black type for her.”

FINISH LINES: Santa Anita Derby winner Pioneerof the Nile looked the proverbial picture galloping on Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride Wednesday, according to private clocker Toby Turrell . . . Julio Canani said The Pamplemousse is comfortable at the trainer’s Santa Anita barn as he begins an indefinite recovery period from tendon issues that forced him to miss the Santa Anita Derby . . . Jack Carava is delighted with the meet he’s had training exclusively for long-time client Ron Valenta, who races as La Caňada Stables. Together they’ve won 19 races. “We’ve won two stakes, too,” Carava pointed out, referring to the Potrero Grande Handicap with Soul City Slew, and the Sunshine Millions Oaks with Beltene. “That’s what makes Ron happy,” Carava said, “winning two stakes with mostly a barn full of claiming horses. It’s been a well-rounded meet.” . . . Mike Mitchell leads John Sadler, 36-33, in the race for leading trainer, with 10 racing days remaining. “I told him he’d better have some horses to run,” added Mitchell, who won the title over Sadler last year, 33-28. “We’re competitive, but we’re just having fun about it,” Mitchell said . . . Garrett Gomez, who has moved his tack to Keeneland, had an 86-83 lead over Rafael Bejarano in Santa Anita’s jockey race through Sunday . . . David Lanzman, co-owner with IEAH Stables of Kentucky Derby contender I Want Revenge, will guest on HRTV’s “Across the Board” show tonight at 5 p.m. Scott Hazelton and Becky Witzman co-host . . . Brice Blanc will be at Keeneland April 18 to ride Jeranimo for trainer Mike Pender in the Grade II, $300,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes at 1 1/16 miles, agent Mike Ciani reports. Jeranimo worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride Tuesday in a minute flat . . . Syndicated handicapper Jerry Antonucci and Ken Davis of Equibase will be Jack Disney’s guests at Sunday’s Fans’ Forum, 11:15 a.m., in the East Paddock Gardens . . . Antonucci’s guest at Saturday’s Today’s Racing Digest seminar will be trainer Craig Lewis, also in the East Paddock Gardens, at 11 a.m. . . . Two players remained alive in Santa Anita’s on-line handicapping contest, ShowVivor II, going into Wednesday’s races. On Sunday, each selected victorious third-place finisher Flew First Class in the first race.