GRADE I WINNER UNION STRIKE TAKES ON SIX RIVALS IN SUNDAY’S $75,000 SANTA PAULA STAKES AT 6 ½ FURLONGS

 

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

 

  1. Auntjenn–Rafael Bejarano–120
  2. Mistressofthenight–Corey Nakatani–120
  3. Union Strike–Brice Blanc–124
  4. Selcourt–Tyler Baze–120
  5. Charlatana–Martin Garcia–120
  6. Life’s Blessings–Flavien Prat–120
  7. 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.