Santa Anita Park plays host to a pair of three-year-old filly graded contests on Saturday, with one taking place on the main track and the other on the turf.
The turf event — $200,000 Honeymoon Stakes (G2) – is first up of the pair and features a field of six going 1 1/8 miles.
Undefeated Sircat Sally is the one to beat in the Honeymoon while putting her six-for-six lifetime record on the line. The dark bay miss has spent most of her time going a mile, but did stretch out to nine furlongs to add the Providencia Stakes (G3) to her resume two back.
Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Sircat Sally actually began her career on the main track at Del Mar, breaking her maiden by five lengths, and then captured the Soviet Problem Stakes on Los Alamitos’ dirt by 12 lengths.
The California-bred daughter of Surf Cat transferred her success to the turf next out to take the California Cup Oaks at Santa Anita, and has remained on the grass in three races since. Sircat Sally enters this spot off a wire-to-wire triumph in the Senorita Stakes (G3) over the course on May 6, and gets jockey Mike Smith returning to the saddle.
Beau Recall has finished second to Sircat Sally in her last two races, the China Doll Stakes on March 11 and Senorita Stakes. Prior to that the Simon Callaghan pupil triumphed in her U.S. debut against allowance/optional claiming rivals on January 29 under jockey Joe Talamo, who retains the mount on the Irish-bred filly for this one.
Pacific Wind just missed second in the Senorita, nipped by Beau Recall’s head on the wire. Before that the chestnut daughter of Curlin took her maiden debut by 4 1/2 lengths going a smile at Santa Anita. Jamie Theriot was aboard for both those efforts and stays in the saddle for trainer Peter Eurton.
Zaffinah brings a win streak of her own into the Honeymoon, having captured her past two races. The most recent of those came over course and distance, and the Jack Carava charge gets Flavien Prat in the irons yet again.
California Oaks heroine Tap It All and stakes-placed La Force complete the Honeymoon field.
Though it doesn’t boast the same star power as last year when serving as a return for multiple champion Songbird, the $200,000 Summertime Oaks (G2) will go three races later with nine sophomore lasses.
The 1 1/16-mile affair drew It Tiz Well, winner of the Honeybee Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park and third in the Santa Anita Oaks (G1) last out on April 8. The Hollendorfer trainee has done well when not going up against Unique Bella, Paradise Woods or Abel Tasman, and will take full advantage of their absence in this spot under jockey Mike Smith.
Lining up against It Tiz Well are Grade 1 winner Noted and Quoted, runner-up in the seven-furlong Angels Flight Stakes last out; Grade 1-placed stakes victress Mopotism, 10th in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) most recently; and Grade 2 runner-up Majestic Quality, who just broke her maiden by 6 3/4 lengths on May 21 over track and distance.
Others of note in the Summertime Oaks are Faypien and Selcourt, respective winner and third-place finisher in the Angels Flight Stakes, as well as Grade 3-placed Spooky Woods.
Last-out turf maiden winner Goseecal and stakes debuter Sheza Chattykat round out the field.