ARCADIA, CA — Joe Turner’s homebred Sircat Sally, the lone California-bred in the field, remained unbeaten on Saturday at Santa Anita, taking the Grade 2, $200,000 Honeymoon Stakes by a diminishing neck over Irish-bred Beau Recall.
Ridden by Mike Smith and trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Sircat Sally got a mile and 1/8 on turf in 1:46.92.
A tracking second throughout behind longshot Tap It All and with Pacific Wind to her immediate inside, Sircat Sally engaged Tap It All 3 furlongs from home while Pacific Wind had to apply the brakes. At the 1/4 pole, she was in command and was all-out to hold off Beau Recall’s late charge.
“I just felt like, if I turned my filly loose, I’d get to Tap It All, because she’s got some turn of foot,” said Smith. “I just didn’t want to pull the trigger too soon, and I was forced to (by the inside move of Pacific Wind), a good 1/16 of a mile too soon, to be honest with you.
“I had to turn her loose a little bit sooner than I would have liked, but I knew that the class she has should hold off the rest of the field.”
The overwhelming 1-5 favorite among a half-dozen 3-year-old fillies, the daughter of Surf Cat, out of the Turner’s In Excess mare Sister Sally, Sircat Sally is now a perfect seven for seven. With the winner’s check of $120,000, she now has earnings of $528,860.
“That’s the advantage of having speed, or tactical speed,” said Hollendorfer. “I thought Mike rode her beautifully. We got the win, and that’s what we wanted. It’s not supposed to be easy for a Grade 2. We’re going to Del Mar, so there’s plenty of stuff for us to look at down there.”
Ridden by Joe Talamo, Beau Recall, who went off at 9-2 and had a perfect trip, finished 1 1/4 lengths in front of Pacific Wind.
“Turning for home, I really thought I was going to win,” said Talamo. “I had a ton of horse. Hat’s off to the winner, she really dug in pretty hard that last part. My filly is so nice and tries so hard every time. The mile and 1/8 suits her really well, and maybe even further.”
Ridden by Jaime Theriot, Pacific Wind was also off at 9-2 and finished 1 1/4 lengths in front of longshot Zaffinah. La Force and Tap It All completed the order of finish.
Fractions on the race were :23.79, :47.31, 1:11.29, and 1:35.29.
Sircat Sally returned $2.60, $2.10, and $2.10. Beau Recall brought back $2.60 and $2.20, while Pacific Wind paid $2.10 to show.
Additional Race Quotes
Jockey Mike Smith, Sircat Sally: “She’s so classy, she relaxed right away. She ran great. She’s a dream to ride.
“My filly locked onto Beau Recall, so I felt confident that I could hold them off for another hundred yards, but after that, I wasn’t sure, so luckily, the wire came.
“I didn’t want to engage with the other filly, so I turned my filly’s head to the right coming out of the gate. Jerry and I thought that’d be a good idea if Tap It All decided to go, and she did. If I turned her into Tap It All, then my filly would’ve engaged, and she would have wanted to pull. She’s so good and I was so proud of her. She just keeps getting better and smarter.
“Her turn of foot was there when I turned her loose. The filly that ran second, I take my hat off to her because she made a run today, but the good ones, they just find a way to win.”
Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, Sircat Sally: “Not really. She’s a beautiful horse to train and she just does everything very professionally. You saddle her and she never turns a hair; she’s very delightful to work with.”
Owner Joe Turner, Sircat Sally: “It’s hard to explain, it’s never happened to us before. She’s seven for seven. We’re looking at the Del Mar Oaks (Grade 1, 1 1/8 miles over turf on August 19), and before that, the mile race, the San Clemente (Grade 2 over turf on July 23).”
Santa Anita Park