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Tasha's Miracle heads a field of 11 Juvenile Fillies in the Oak Leaf.
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Tasha's Miracle to Take Next Step in Oak Leaf

Tasha's Miracle is the favorite in the Oak Leaf Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita Sept. 29.

Ever since she came into his barn, John Sadler has been waiting for the chance to see Tasha’s Miracle go two turns. The Southern California trainer will finally have that opportunity Sept. 29, as his talented 2-year-old filly headlines a field of 11 in the $250,000 Oak Leaf Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita.

Because she is a daughter of Harlan's Holiday-Ms. Cuvee Napa, Sadler believes Tasha’s Miracle will do her best running at longer distances. The 1 1/16-mile Oak Leaf will be a nice test, especially since she will be coming off about seven weeks of rest. Bred in Florida by Martin Stables, Tasha’s Miracle was withdrawn from the Del Mar Debutante Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 3 after being tied up a bit.

“It was a very minor thing, about one on a scale of one to 10, but we wanted her to be perfect,” said Sadler. “You don’t want to run a 2-year-old filly too much, anyway. We still have the ($2-million Grey Goose) Breeders’ Cup (Juvenile Fillies) as our goal.

“This is what we’ve been waiting for with her. We liked her right away.”

Tasha’s Miracle, owned by Syd and Joanne Belzberg and Team Valor, has won two of three starts, including the $150,000 Sorrento Stakes (gr. III) at Del Mar Aug. 8, beating Set Play by 3 1/4 lengths. She tested Santa Anita’s new Cushion Track Sept. 22, working seven furlongs in 1:25.80. David Flores will be aboard as the favorite leaves from post 10.

Set Play defeated three current challengers in the seven-furlong Del Mar Debutante, winning by two lengths for trainer Peter Miller. Also bred in Florida, Set Play has been on the board in all four of her career starts. She has the advantage of having raced twice on Cushion Track, both of those efforts at Hollywood Park in June, including her maiden score.

A daughter of Van Nistelrooy-Boldy’s Reflection, Set Play is owned by Gerson racing and Charleville Stables. She will leave from the rail under Brian Blanc.

Wild Baby Girl, Sunday Geisha and Izarra were all beaten by Set Play in the Del Mar Debutante. The Golden Noodle, Cry and Catch Me, Runforthemoneybaby, Gentle Audrey, Golden Doc A and P.S.U. Grad complete the field.

$250,000 Oak Leaf Stakes (gr. I, Race 7, 3:30 p.m.), Two-Year-Old Fillies, 1 1/16 Miles (Cushion Track)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Set Play (FL), 122, Brice Blanc
2. Wild Baby Girl (KY), 122, Martin A. Pedroza
3. Sunday Geisha (KY), 122, Corey S. Nakatani
4. The Golden Noodle (MT), 122, Clinton L. Potts
5. Cry and Catch Me (KY), 122, Mike E. Smith
6. Runforthemoneybaby (CA), 122, Tyler Baze
7. Gentle Audrey (KY), 122, Joseph Talamo
8. Golden Doc A (CA), 122, Martin Garcia
9. Izarra (KY), 122 Victor Espinoza
10. Tasha's Miracle (FL), 122, David Romero Flores
11. P. S. U. Grad (KY), 122, Michael C. Baze