Joe Turner's homebred Sircat Sally will bring her undefeated record into the $200,000 Honeymoon Stakes (G2T) June 17 at Santa Anita Park, and her Hall of Fame trainer appears to be as confident as her 3-5 morning-line odds.
Unbeaten in six starts, the California-bred Surf Cat filly will seek her third straight graded win on the grass and fourth straight against open company in the 1 1/8-mile test.
"She hasn't done anything wrong, so we don't really expect her to do anything wrong," trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said. "If she continues to run like she has been, she'll be pretty special."
The way she has run since her first trip to the starting gate in November at Del Mar has already been pretty special.
The bay filly won her first two starts on dirt and in California-bred company, moved to grass but stayed with state-breds to win the California Cup Oaks, then defeated open company in the China Doll, Providencia (G3T), and Senorita Stakes (G3T) last time out May 6.
"For right now we're going to leave her on turf, because that's where she's been most successful," Hollendorfer said.
The two fillies who finished immediately behind Sircat Sally in the Senorita are back to challenge in the Honeymoon. Second-place finisher Beau Recall also had a runner-up experience behind Sircat Sally in the China Doll, but third-place Senorita finisher Pacific Wind may have a reason to improve.
The Curlin filly jumped straight from her impressive, 4 1/2-length debut win on the turf at Santa Anita into the grade 3 event at the same mile distance, made a middle move behind the frontrunning Sircat Sally, and rallied between horses late to pick up the show honors.
"The distance shouldn't be an issue for her at all, if we can beat the champ," Pacific Wind's trainer, Peter Eurton, said of the extra furlong. "But our filly is doing really well. I think we'll hopefully give her everything she can handle."
Rounding out the field is Zaffinah, who is entering her graded stakes debut off back-to-back tight victories at the maiden special weight and optional-claiming allowance level; Tap It All, who won the California Oaks on the Golden Gate Fields synthetic main track in February; and La Force, who is seeking her first U.S. win in her seventh try.
Santa Anita Park, Saturday, June 17, 2017, Race 6
- 1 1/8m
- 3 yo Fillies
- 3:34 PM (local)
|1||1Zaffinah (IRE)||Flavien Prat||120||Jack Carava||6/1|
|2||2Pacific Wind (KY)||Jamie Theriot||120||Peter Eurton||9/2|
|3||3Tap It All (KY)||Mario Gutierrez||120||Doug F. O'Neill||12/1|
|4||4Sircat Sally (CA)||Mike E. Smith||122||Jerry Hollendorfer||3/5|
|5||5Beau Recall (IRE)||Joseph Talamo||120||Simon Callaghan||4/1|
|6||6La Force (GER)||Rafael Bejarano||120||Patrick Gallagher||12/1|