ARCADIA, Calif. — Ashleyluvssugar won the $200,000 John Henry Turf Championship by a half-length Sunday at Santa Anita.
Ridden by Gary Stevens, Ashleyluvssugar ran 1 1/4 miles in 1:58.35 and paid $8.80, $5 and $3.40 as the 3-1 third choice.
Texas Ryano returned $15.80 and $10 at 14-1 odds, while Twentytwentyvision was another nose back in third and paid $4.80 to show.
Metaboss, the 5-2 favorite, finished fourth in the Grade 2 race.
Ashleyluvssugar was second to longshot El Huerfano all the way until taking command three-sixteenths of a mile from the wire.
The victory, worth $120,000, increased Ashleyluvssugar’s career earnings to $847,504, with eight wins in 17 starts.
The 5-year-old gelding will make his next start in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita on Nov. 5.
“He’s not very big but he’s full of energy, does his job and he loves Santa Anita,” Stevens said.
It was Ashleyluvssugar’s second win in a row and fourth in seven starts on Santa Anita’s turf course.
“This is his kind of track,” trainer Peter Eurton said. “You’ve got to think this horse is just full of heart. When he’s healthy like he is right now, he’s great.”