ARCADIA, Calif. (April 6, 2017)–Originally entered to run in Saturday’s Grade III Providencia Stakes on turf, the Mick Ruis-owned and trained Union Strike heads a field of seven sophomore fillies in Sunday’s $75,000 Santa Paula Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs.
Idle since running an even fifth in the Grade I, 1 1/16 miles Starlet Stakes at Los Alamitos on Dec. 10, Union Strike will be taking on several promising fillies, including Keith Abraham’s homebred Selcourt, who comes off a smashing 9 ¼ length first-out maiden win and retains the services of Tyler Baze.
UNION STRIKE: A winner of the Grade I Del Mar Debutante going seven furlongs in her second start on Sept. 3, this daughter of Union Rags then split a 12-horse field in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies on Nov. 5, and has thus lost her last two races at 1 1/16 miles. With a return to a sprint distance and time off, she looms strictly the horse to beat as she’ll be ridden for the first time by Brice Blanc.
SELCOURT: Trained by John Sadler, she was bet down to 4-5 in her six furlong debut on Feb. 12 and responded with a resounding win after pressing a torrid early pace that included an opening quarter mile of 21.20. A Kentucky-bred daughter of Tiz Wonderful, she earned a Santa Paula-best last-out Beyer Speed figure of 85.
AUNTJENN: Third in the Grade II Sorrento Stakes at Del Mar four starts back on Aug. 6, this Kentucky-bred filly by Uncle Mo has been idle since hooking into equine buzzsaw Abel Tasman on Nov. 18 in a seven furlong allowance. Head and head early, she ended up fourth, beaten 8 ¼ lengths. Trained by Peter MIller, she’ll break from the rail, which produced her lone win, a six furlong triumph five starts back on July 23. Owned by Ike and Dawn Thrash, she’ll be ridden for the first time by Rafael Bejarano.
THE $75,000 SANTA PAULA STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 9 of 10 Approximate post time 4:30 p.m. PT
- Auntjenn–Rafael Bejarano–120
- Mistressofthenight–Corey Nakatani–120
- Union Strike–Brice Blanc–124
- Selcourt–Tyler Baze–120
- Charlatana–Martin Garcia–120
- Life’s Blessings–Flavien Prat–120
- Chalon–Norberto Arroyo, Jr.–120
First post time on Sunday will be at 12:30 p.m. For scratches, changes and complete morning line information, please visit santaanita.com.