Imponente Purse, the 5-2 second choice, rallied to take
the $100,000 Sunset Handicap.
A Brazilian bred gelding, Imponente Purse provided jockey
Chantal Sutherland with her fourth stakes success of the meet in the Sunset.
Owned by Coudelaria Jessica and trained by A.C. Avila – the
same connections that won the Royal Heroine Mile July 4 with the mare Celtic
Princess – Imponente Purse came wide into the stretch, running past Falcon Rock
late to earn his fourth win.
A son of Public Purse and the Sunny’s Halo mare White Tea,
Imponente Purse ended a seven race losing streak in the turf marathon. Winning
for the first time since taking an optional claimer on the Hollywood Park grass
last Nov. 19, Imponente Purse covered the 1 ½ miles in 2:26.65 while winning by
1 3/4 lengths.
Now 4-for-19 lifetime, the 5-year-old increased his bankroll
to $188,627. He returned $7.60, $4 and $2.60.
The 5-1 third choice in a field reduced to seven after the
scratch of morning line favorite and 124-pound highweight Acclamation and
Atticus Jack, Falcon Rock paid $5 and $2.80. He finished 1 ¾ lengths in front
of 3-2 favorite Celtic New Year. The show payoff on Celtic New Year was $2.20.
Runner-up in the Grade I Charles Whittingham Memorial
Handicap June 11, Celtic New Year faded after gaining a clear lead with about
an eighth of a mile to run. He wound up three-quarters of a length in front of
First Settler, then came Victorian Prince, pacesetter Restless Soul and Ashtar.
“He deserves some luck,’’ said Avila of the winner. “He had
bad luck in the race at Santa Anita (a head loss in the San Juan Capistrano April 17), so we had to
close the meeting with some good luck.
“He’s always like that, one pace, one pace, one pace. He came
back fresh before his last race. I want to freshen him more.’’