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MULTIPLE GRADE I STAKES-PLACED SCARLET STRIKE APPEARS TO BE CLASS OF SATURDAY’S GRADE III, $150,000 PROVIDENCIA STAKES AT 1 1/8 MILES ON TURF, TEN 3-YEAR-OLD FILLIES SET TO GO
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 3, 2013)—Saturday’s Grade III, $150,000 Providencia Stakes attracted a wide-open field of ten 3-year-old fillies set to go 1 1/8 miles on grass, headed by multiple Grade I stakes-placed Scarlet Strike, who comes off a third place finish on the main track in the Grade I, one mile Las Virgenes Stakes, on March 2.
Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Scarlet Strike was second in the Grade I Chandelier Stakes going 1 1/16 miles on dirt Sept. 29, and was third on Cushion Track in the Grade I Hollywood Starlet Dec. 8.
In her only turf try, the Kentucky-bred daughter of Smart Strike was second, beaten a nose, going one mile in the Blue Norther Stakes at Santa Anita Jan. 1.
Although she only has a maiden win from nine starts, Scarlet Strike is clearly the class of Saturday’s Providencia field and should be the post time favorite. Owned by Carver or Hollendorfer or Smith, she has earnings of $242,340 and an overall mark of 9-1-3-5.
Birdlover, a winner of the $77,000 China Doll Stakes going a mile on turf March 9 is one of five fillies who exit the China Doll, which was run over a turf course listed as good. Birdlover, trained by Doug O’Neill, won by 1 ½ lengths, going gate to wire at odds of 10-1. With the recent win drawing added pari-mutuel attention, Birdlover could well get more early pace pressure than she did at long odds in the China Doll.
A close fourth in her U.S. debut, the Grade III, one mile Miesque Stakes on Nov. 24, English-bred Birdlover will again be handled by Edwin Maldonado and will be racing beyond a mile for the first time in her eighth career start.
The complete field for Saturday’s Grade III Providencia Stakes, to be run as the eighth race on an 11-race card, with jockeys and all horses assigned 118 pounds in post position order: Kyriaki, Joe Talamo; Sultry Season, Aaron Gryder; Sarach, Victor Espinoza; Sweet Red Cat, Garrett Gomez; Birdlover, Edwin Maldonado; Scarlet Strike, Rafael Bejarano; Magnificent Shirl, Tyler Baze; Flashy Ways, Martin Garcia; Wittgenstein, Mario Gutierrez, and Akiss Forarose, Orlando Mojica.
Santa Anita will guarantee $750,000 in the Late Pick Four pool on Saturday, which will cover races eight through 11. In addition to the Grade I Santa Anita Derby and the Grade III Providencia, Santa Anita will also present the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks and the Grade II Potrero Grande Stakes.
Special early first post time on Santa Anita Derby Day is at 12 noon.