Sunset seeking ‘glowing’ win in San Clemente

Profile Picture: Jen Caldwell

Jen Caldwell

July 17th, 2015

Sunset Glow is hoping “third time’s the charm” as she seeks a return to the winner’s circle in Sunday’s $200,000 San Clemente H. (G2) at Del Mar.

The Wesley Ward pupil has placed in her two races thus far this year. After closing out 2014 with a runner-up effort behind star filly Lady Eli in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1), Sunset Glow opened her sophomore season facing off against that rival in the Appalachian S. (G3) at Keeneland on April 12.

A third-place finish resulted from that seasonal debut and was followed a month later with a second in the Wait a While S. at Belmont Park.

Sunset Glow hasn’t been seen in competition since that latter May 16 contest. Ward mentioned taking her to Royal Ascot, but the gray filly remained in Kentucky as her trainer traveled to England. She posted three works at Keeneland and most recently was caught in :59 2/5 at Churchill Downs on July 13.

The San Clemente’s nine-filly field also includes Her Emmynency, who just missed by a neck to Sunset Glow in last year’s Del Mar Debutante (G1). That is Her Emmynency’s only loss to date, as she would take her two-year-old finale in the Surfer Girl S. last October and made her 2015 debut a head score at Arlington in a June 20 off-the-turf, allowance/optional claimer.

Her Emmynency’s Surfer Girl victory also counts as the bay filly’s only start on turf. Her other three wins, including her maiden bow last August at Del Mar, came on the synthetic Polytrack. To ready for this one, the Michael Stidham trainee has been working around the dogs on Arlington’s turf course, and recently logged a half-mile over Del Mar’s green in :52 2/5.

Spirit of Xian will be shortening up for the San Clemente after taking the Providencia S. (G3) and running third in the Honeymoon S. (G2), both at 1 1/8 miles, in her past two. The Irish-bred lass also finished third while making her U.S. and seasonal debut in the 6 1/2-furlong Sweet Life S. at Santa Anita in mid-February. Joe Talamo was aboard for that stakes trio and retains the mount for trainer Richard Mandella.

Prize Exhibit is another contender on Sunday exiting a stakes triumph, this time a 2 1/4-length score in the one-mile Senorita S. (G3). The James Cassidy charge finished fourth in both the Providencia and Honeymoon earlier this season, and gets Santiago Gonzalez back in the irons for this one.

Sunset Glow photo courtesy of Benoit Photos