ARCADIA, Calif. (June 17, 2015)–Idle since running a disappointing fourth as the favorite in the Grade I Kentucky Oaks May 1, Hronis Racing, LLC’s Stellar Wind heads a field of ten 3-year-old fillies going a mile and a sixteenth in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Summertime Oaks at Santa Anita. A winner of the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks two starts back on April 4, the John Sadler-conditioned daughter of Curlin will again be ridden by racing’s “Triple Crown Man,” Victor Espinoza.
Dispatched at 3-1 in a field of 14 in the mile and one eighth Kentucky Oaks, Stellar Wind’s chances were significantly compromised in the early running, as she steadied at the break and fell 10 lengths off the lead over a strip that was conducive to speed. Despite getting hung nine-wide turning for home, Stellar Wind called upon her considerable class and rallied to be beaten 4 ¾ lengths.
A winner of three consecutive races prior to her defeat in the Kentucky Oaks, Stellar Wind, who ran her first two races before being purchased privately at Laurel Race Course in Maryland, is 5-3-0-1 with earnings of $373,200.
Trainer Phil D’Amato’s Sheer Pleasure, who comes off a pair of state-bred tallies in the 6 ½ furlong Evening Jewel Stakes April 4 and the 1 1/16 miles Melair Stakes May 23, tries graded stakes competition for the first time and retains the services of Tyler Baze. A California-bred filly by Birdonthewire, Sheer Pleasure sat close to the pace and rambled to a 7 ¼ length win in the Melair at odds of 4-5.
Owned by Little Red Feather Racing and R/M Racing, Sheer Pleasure has three wins from five starts and has earnings of $257,450.
Bob Baffert’s Fantastic Style comes off an impressive gate to wire win in the seven furlong Angels Flight Stakes May 16 and could pose an elusive target as she tries two turns for the first time on Saturday. Owned by Kaleem Shah, Inc., the Kentucky-bred filly by Harlan’s Holiday took the Angels Flight by 3 ¼ lengths and was third, beaten 3 ½ lengths in the Grade II, seven furlong Beaumont Stakes two starts back at Keeneland on April 12.
With an overall mark of 5-3-1-1, Fantastic Style has earnings of $152,000.
Second as the 3-5 favorite in the Angels Flight on May 16, Stonestreet Stables, LLC’s Tara’s Tango will also “two-turn” for the first time Saturday and will be ridden back by Mike Smith. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Tara’s Tango, a daughter of Unbridled’s Song, has a win and two seconds from three starts.
Trainer Mark Casse’s lightly raced Conquest Curlgirl comes off a gate to wire one mile maiden win at Santa Anita on May 7 and rates a “live” look with Joe Talamo set to ride back. Owned by Conquest Stables, LLC, the Kentucky-bred filly by Curlin broke her maiden by a half length at odds of 9-5. She’ll make her third career start in the Summertime Oaks.
The complete field for the Grade II Summertime Oaks, to be run as the eighth race on a nine-race card Saturday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: All Star Bub, Rafael Bejarano, 118; Sheer Pleasure, Tyler Baze, 118; Danette, Fernando Perez, 118; Guild, Flavien Prat, 118; Roksana, Felipe Valdez, 118; Tara’s Tango, Mike Smith, 118; Conquest Curlgirl, Joe Talamo, 118; Scat Means Go, Gary Stevens, 118, Stellar Wind, Victor Espinoza, 123, and Fantastic Style, Martin Garcia, 118.
First post time on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.