ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 18, 2018)–Always highly regarded by her connections, Selcourt stepped to the plate and delivered on Sunday at Santa Anita, as she registered her first ever graded stakes win in taking the Grade III, $100,000 Las Flores Stakes under Tyler Baze. Trained by John Sadler, the lightly raced 4-year-old filly by Tiz Wonderful got six furlongs in 1:09.65.
Sent from her outside post position, Selcourt was head and head with a gutty Coniah throughout, finally gaining the advantage inside the sixteenth pole as the highly accomplished Skye Diamonds lunged late to be third.
“She’s a nice filly, but she had to work for it today,” said Baze, who had ridden Selcourt in all four of her previous starts. “Skye Diamonds is a tough mare and so is Coniah. Those were tough horses she beat today, so we’ll see where it goes from here.”
A 7 ½ length winner of the ungraded Kalookan Queen Stakes going 6 ½ furlongs on Jan. 14, Selcourt was off as the even money favorite amongst six older fillies and mares and paid $4.20, $3.20 and $2.20.
A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly who is out of the Open Forum mare Azure Spring, Selcourt was bred by Keith Abrahams and is owned by Abrahams, Medallion Racing and Sandra Lazaruk. With her first graded stakes triumph, Selcourt banked $60,000, bringing her earnings to $163,920. A gem of consistency, she’s now 5-3-1-1 overall.
“She was in with really good horses (today) and their strategy seemed to be to take it to her,” said Sadler. “She took the pressure and just kept going. We’ll probably go out to a seven eighths race in her next start…We might even try her in the Beholder Mile (Grade I, on June 2)…She’s a big-striding filly and can carry her speed well, so we’ll just take it one race at time.”
Coniah, a 5-year-old California-bred mare who is trained by Billy Morey, was all heart in defeat and held Skye Diamonds off by a head for second money. The third choice at 9-2 with Kent Desormeaux up, Coniah paid $4.00 and $2.40.
A two-time graded stakes winner, Skye Diamonds loomed menacingly in third position mid-way around the far turn, but couldn’t quite collar the runner-up in a solid effort.
Off at 2-1 with Tiago Pereira, Skye Diamonds finished six lengths clear of longshot Just a Little Hope and paid $2.40 to show.
Fractions on the race were 21.54, 44.52 and 56.81.
First post time for a nine-race card on Monday, Presidents’ Day, is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.