Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer has entered three for the $200,000 Summertime Oaks (gr. II) June 21 on the main track at Santa Anita Park, headed by three-time winner Delta Flower.
Dual stakes-winning Delta Flower is joined by by Fleet of Gold and Stop Smiling, both seeking their first stakes win for Hollendorfer. Three trainers account for seven of the eight 3-year-old fillies entered in the Summertime Oaks, previously the Hollywood Oaks, with Eoin Harty (Arethusa, Live for Now) and Bob Baffert (Jojo Warrior, Front Range) also well-represented. The other filly, Kentucky shipper La Mejor Fiesta, is from the globe-trotting Wesley Ward stable.
The 1 1/16-mile Summertime Oaks, to be contested on dirt for the first time since 2006, is race 8 on the Saturday card with a 4:30 p.m. PDT tentative post time.
Delta Flower has won her only start for Hollendorfer, taking Santa Anita's Angel's Flight Stakes at seven furlongs May 17 by a neck. The Arkansas-bred filly's previous three starts for trainer Stanley Roberts came at Oaklawn Park this season, including a sharp 3 3/4-length tally in the Rainbow Miss Stakes March 29.
Hollendorfer, who won last year's Hollywood Oaks with Doinghardtimeagain as well as the 2006 renewal with Hystericalady, trains the speedy daughter of A. P. Delta for Gillian Campbell, Dan Clark, Greg Skoda, and Richard Robertson. To be ridden again by Corey Nakatani from post 4, Delta Flower will be trying two turns for the first time.
Stop Smiling, owned by Hollendorfer and Mark Dedomenico, scored her first win in three attempts this season in front-running style in a field of five allowance/optional claimers at 1 1/16 miles on the turf at Golden Gate Fields May 11. The Florida-bred daughter of It's No Joke was off for more than seven months after finishing third as the even-money choice behind Concave and 2-year-old filly champion She's a Tiger in the 6 1/2-furlong Sorrento Stakes (gr. II) last August at Del Mar. Gary Stevens has the call for the first time from the far outside post.
She's a Tiger was nominated to the Summertime Oaks, but trainer Jeff Bonde opted not to run.
Hollendorfer's trio is completed by Fleet of Gold, who was racing in New York for trainer Tony Dutrow until this spring. The Medaglia d'Oro filly has had two starts at Santa Anita. She finished third in a first-level allowance at 1 1/16 miles April 19 and then seventh in an allowance/optional claiming race on the turf in which she bobbled at the start. Alex Solis, who rode the bay in a couple of minor stakes races at Aqueduct Racetrack this winter, has the mount.
Zayat Stables homebred Jojo Warrior has been favored in three of her four lifetime starts, producing a debut maiden win at Del Mar last September. The Pioneerof the Nile miss has had three starts in stakes company this spring, all in sprints. She finished second in Oaklawn's Instant Racing in April, followed three weeks later by a fourth in the Eight Belles (gr. III) at Churchill Downs May 2. In her most recent start, she was a well-beaten third at 7-5 odds in the listed Miss Preakness on a good track May 16 at Pimlico Race Course.
Martin Garcia takes the reigns this time as Jojo Warrior stretches out for the first time from the rail.
Baffert, whose prior Hollywood Oaks wins came in 2007 with Tough Tiz's Sis and in 2003 with Santa Catarina, also entered Mike Rutherford's homebred Front Range, a maiden winner in her second try going 1 1/16 miles May 1. She returned May 24 in a one-mile turf allowance and weakened to seventh. Santa Anita leading rider Joe Talamo takes over.
Godolphin Racing's Arethusa has been keeping good company for Harty since breaking her maiden in the listed Sharp Cat Stakes last November at Hollywood Park. But aside from a good third in the Las Virgenes (gr. I) Feb. 1, the A.P. Indy filly hasn't enjoyed a great deal of success. She was sixth last time out in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) May 16, and fifth in the Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) prior to that. Mike Smith rides.
Harty also entered Casner Racing's Live for Now, a maiden after six starts who is coming off a second in a one-mile test May 25.
Ice Wine Stable's La Mejor Fiesta was seventh in the Black-Eyed Susan last out for Ward. The well-traveled daughter of Harlan's Holiday graduated in her debut one year ago on the turf at Churchill Downs and won a minor stakes at Remington Park on dirt in December. She has run at a different track in all seven of her prior starts.
$200,000 Summertime Oaks (gr. II, Race 8, 4:30 p.m.), 3YO Fillies, 1 1/16 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1. Jojo Warrior (KY), M Garcia, B Baffert
2. Live for Now (KY), T Baze, E G Harty
3. Arethusa (KY), M E Smith, E G Harty
4. Delta Flower (AR), C S Nakatani, J Hollendorfer
5. La Mejor Fiesta (KY), K J Desormeaux, W A Ward
6. Front Range (KY), J Talamo, B Baffert
7. Fleet of Gold (KY), A O Solis, J Hollendorfer
8. Stop Smiling (FL), G L Stevens, J Hollendorfer
All assigned 118 pounds.