The peak of Saturday’s card at the Californian racecourse Golden Gate was open to three-year-old and older horses, and as the 2022 San Francisco Mile Stakes attracted a varied competition, a tough fight for the win was expected. And the race delivered as five-year-old Evening Sun surprised preferred Vanzzy, bettered him after a brief fight, and achieved his very first Graded success.
2022 San Francisco Mile Stakes
The G3 race was held on the turf surface and offered a purse of $250,000. At the distance of a mile, fourteen three-year-old and older horses clashed here, while it was Evening Sun (83-10) who caught off guard more preferred participants to score in 1:35.36. Piloted by Brice Blanc, the five-year-old gelding rallied in the final stretch, and because his finish was a bit more powerful than the one of favourite Vanzzy (27-10), Evening Sun prevailed by a half of a length and bagged his premiere Graded win. Veteran Camino Del Paraiso (331-10) ran a blinder here, and when defying both the odds and his age, he took third.
Evening Sun, trained by Jeff Mullins, commenced his career in the United Kingdom, where he didn’t show anything of interest for two years. In 2021, he shipped to the US to bag an Allowance race, which he repeated in March 2022 when landing the victory by a neck. Still, he was about to face some decent horses on Saturday, and therefore, he had to step the game considerably to have a say in the San Francisco Mile Stakes, which actually happened. Brice Blanc let the gelding gallop in the eighth position but urged him forward in time, so once the field turned for home, Evening Sun was able to charge, gradually leaving most of his rivals behind until just Camino del Paraiso remained in front of him.
The nine-year-old veteran ran in third in this race back in 2020 and affirmed still to be able to shine at this stage, especially in this race he likes; however, he just couldn’t resist the speed Vanzzy and Evening Sun displayed. Preferred Vanzzy also ran a good race; however, he never looked like a winner in the final stretch as he wasn’t as quick as the subsequent winner, yet he suggested he should be considered for the Graded success next time again. Behind third Camino del Paraiso, finishing only a length behind the winner, Tom’s Surprise (129-10) ran in fourth before fifth Indian Peak (171-10).
Neither of the closely watched duo Ecrivain (41-10) – Get Her Number (18-1) impacted the race in the slightest and finished down the field.
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