DEL MAR, Calif. (Sept. 4, 2017) — Miss Sunset will be sorry to see Del Mar end.
Her love affair with the track continued on Monday’s closing day when she ran her record her to 4 for 4 when beating her elders for the first time in the $99,485 CERF Stakes for older female sprinters.
Miss Sunset ($8.40) had won the Fleet Treat Stakes for California-bred 3-year-old fillies earlier in the meet on July 30, and last year she won a pair of races here, including the Generous Portion. In the CERF, she stepped out of both her comfort zones, moving into open company and against older competition.
The result was the same, but with a slight tweak. Miss Sunset led from start to finish in the Fleet Treat, but this time she sat behind early pacesetter Rockport Babe, surged to the lead entering the lane, then held safe fellow Cal-bred Bad Ju Ju to win by a 1 3/4 lengths.
Classy Tune, the even-money favorite off a powerful allowance win Aug. 20, was not as sharp when returning on short rest and finished third, 1 1/2 lengths behind Bad Ju Ju.
Miss Sunset, bred by Premier Thoroughbreds & Alan Klein, completed six furlongs on the fast main track in 1:09.82.
Jeff Bonde, who trains Miss Sunset for owners Klein and Philip Lebherz, said he had looked at three options for Miss Sunset following the Fleet Treat, but the CERF made the most sense.
“More time between races is better for her,” Bonde said.
Miss Sunset, a daughter of Into Mischief, has now won 6 times in 10 starts. The $60,960 winner’s share brought her career earnings to more than $450,000.Mike Smith rode Miss Sunset in both the Fleet Treat and the CERF. He had ridden her once previously, after which he suggested to Bonde that blinkers be removed. She’s 2 for 2 since then.
“It made a world of difference,” Bonde said.