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SIX SET TO TAKE ON BRIECAT IN SUNDAY’S SANTA LUCIA STAKES
ARCADIA, Calif. (March 24, 2011) – Trainer Vladimir Cerin’s multiple graded stakes winning Briecat will face six challengers Sunday in Santa Anita’s 31st running of the $70,000 Santa Lucia Stakes for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles.
Patrick Valenzuela, aboard for the 6-year-old mare’s last four starts, will be back in the irons as Briecat, second in the Grade II Buena Vista Handicap on turf in her last out, returns to the Santa Anita main track.
A winner of 9 of 27 career starts that have earned $584,805 for David and Holly Wilson, Briecat seems at home on any surface. Speed is her greatest asset, and she may take some catching in Sunday’s feature.
Burg Berg, who ran down Briecat in Oak Tree’s Swingtime Stakes last October at Hollywood Park, will try again while sharing high weight of 123 pounds with her rival. Martin Pedroza rides the 5-year-old mare trained by Paco Gonzalez for John and Cheryl Toffan. A homebred daughter of Johannesburg, Burg Berg shows a record of 4-4-2 in 18 starts for earnings of $245,152.
Trainer Barry Abrams, noted for running his horses back in a hurry, has wasted little time between races for Jax El, a dominant wire-to-wire winner of Wednesday’s allowance feature at one mile.
Alonso Quinonez has the return riding call atop Jax El, a 4-year-old Unusual Heat filly who scored her second win from 10 starts on Wednesday for Madeline Auerbach and the Jack Klugman Revocable Trust.
The complete field for the Santa Lucia Stakes, with jockeys and weights in post position order: I Can Hear, Chantal Sutherland, 120; Burg Berg, Martin Pedroza, 123; Church Camp, Corey Nakatani, 117; Jax El, Alonso Quinonez, 117; Sandi’s Ready, Joseph Talamo, 117; Ash Zee, David Flores, 117, and Briecat, Patrick Valenzuela, 123.
The Santa Lucia Stakes is carded as the fifth race on a program of nine races. First post is at 12:30 p.m.