Sadler Seeks 'Miracle' in Hollywood Oaks

Sadler Seeks 'Miracle' in Hollywood Oaks
Photo: Benoit
The distance may make the difference for Tasha's Miracle in the Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks.
Trainer John Sadler hopes Tasha's Miracle's route experience can help the filly turn the tables on Million Dollar Run in the $150,000 Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks (gr. II) on Hollywood Park's Cushion Track June 8.

Nine 3-year-old fillies are entered in the event, although three are cross-entered in the $175,000 Honeymoon Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Hollywood lawn the preceding day.

Tasha's Miracle ran second, 2 1/4 lengths behind the draw-off winner Million Dollar Run in the seven-furlong Railbird (gr. III) May 11. But the Oaks is at 1 1/16 miles and would be the first try for Everest Stables' homebred Million Dollar Run around two turns.

"Everest has been beating me like a drum this meet, so I've got to win one fairly soon, don't I?" asked Sadler. He was referring not only to Tasha's Miracle, but also to his Afleet Ruler, who finished second behind another Everest home-bred, Two Step Salsa, in the Lazaro S. Barrera Memorial Stakes (gr. III) one week later.

Tasha's Miracle, a Florida-bred daughter of Harlan's Holiday, has negotiated two turns in three of her eight starts. Though she is yet to win at a route distance, she did finish fourth in last fall's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) and third in the Las Virgenes (gr. I) at Santa Anita in February. Sadler hopes it's an edge that will prove to her advantage against leading rivals Million Dollar Run and Lethal Heat, who have sprinted exclusively.

"She's a good steady performer," said Sadler of Tasha's Miracle, who won her graded stakes debut in the Sorrento (gr. III) at Del Mar last summer but has lost five in a row since, all with graded company. She has won two of eight starts overall and leads the field with earnings of $285,880 for co-owners Budget Stable and Team Valor.

Million Dollar Run, a daughter of Tejano Run, was an unknown quantity in the Railbird and stole off at odds of 14-1 for trainer Marcelo Polanco. She had one prior start, a tough-luck second in a six-furlong maiden special weight test at Santa Anita March 30.

Lethal Heat ran third in the Railbird as the 13-10 choice after stumbling at the start. The daughter of Unusual Heat won the first three starts of her career in a 30-day span over Santa Anita's synthetic track in March.

Her trainer, Barry Abrams, has cross-entered both Lethal Heat and Bel Air Sizzle, who seems more likely to go in the turf race after three victories in seven tries on grass.

Also entered in both the Oaks and the Honeymoon is Bill Currin's Divine Legacy, who ran fourth in both Las Virgenes and Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) this season. Divine Legacy also finished fourth in her most recent start, the Senorita Stakes (gr. IIIT) on Hollywood Park's lawn May 10.

Gambler's Justice makes her first start for Bill Spawr since winning the Melair over California breds April 27, although she was disqualified to third for a bumping incident near the eighth pole.

Smooth Performer, whose dam Smooth Player won the Hollywood Oaks in 1999, makes her stakes debut for Clifford Sise Jr. Irish-bred Miss Singhsix and Fire n' Brimstone also try stakes company for the first time.

$150,000 Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks (gr. II, Race 8, 4:50 p.m.), 3-Year-Old Fillies, 1 1/16 Miles (All Weather)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Million Dollar Run (KY), 113, Joel Rosario
2. Divine Legacy (FL), 113, Joseph Talamo
3. Gambler's Justice (CA), 113, Richard Migliore
4. Smooth Performer (CA), 113, Michael C. Baze
5. Lethal Heat (CA), 113, Rafael Bejarano
6. Fire n' Brimstone (KY), 113, Victor Espinoza
7. Miss Singhsix (IRE), 113, Alex O. Solis
8. Bel Air Sizzle (CA), 119, Clinton L. Potts
9. Tasha's Miracle (FL), 113, Martin Garcia

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