ARCADIA, CA – Keith Abrahams’ homebred Selcourt scored big in her first career graded stakes start, battling the entire way on the front end before gamely digging in and holding on to win Sunday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Las Flores Stakes at Santa Anita.
Selcourt was sent off as the even-money favorite from the far post in the six-horse field under Tyler Baze. The John Sadler trainee immediately commenced a front-end duel outside of Coniah, with the pair remaining only heads apart through opening fractions of :21.54 and :44.52. With less than a furlong remaining, Selcourt inched ahead before hitting the wire first by 3/4 of a length in a final time of 1:09.65 for the 6-furlong main track sprint.
“She’s a nice filly but she had to work for it today. I was very confident in her. She ran a huge race last time and John said she’s doing better than she was before that race, so that means she was going to run at least as well as she did in her last, and I thought that was good enough to win today. John didn’t say anything in the paddock, but I saw him near his barn this morning. He said, ‘We’ve got a good outside post, so just don’t take any of her speed away. Use that to your advantage and don’t let anyone go and get the lead from you because she’s too good. She’s better than those horses, so make them run to beat you and run to stay up with you.’ So that’s what I did.”
Skye Diamonds put in a good rally down the front stretch where she made up 2 lengths on the leaders, but the finish lane came too quickly, as Coniah edged her out for second by a head. The remaining field was well strung-out behind the top trio, with Just a Little Hope, Citizen Kitty, and Princess Karen completing the order of finish.
Selcourt’s win improved her record to 5-3-1-1, all at Santa Anita. Co-owned by Abrahams, Medallion Racing, and Sandra Lazaruk, the 4-year-old daughter of Tiz Wonderful increased her career earnings to $163,920.
“I was pretty confident today,” Sadler said. “She’s been training so well that I just wanted to run her back. She handles this track beautifully and she had a beautiful work here last weekend. She’s a good filly, so for the good ones, it’s not so hard.”
Selcourt returned $4.20 to win, $3.20 to place, and $2.20 to show. Coniah brought back $4 to place and $2.40 to show, while Skye Diamonds paid $2.40 to show.