Joe Turner’s homebred, Sircat Sally, has now won all seven of her career starts. The 3-year-old California-bred daughter of Surf Cat narrowly held off Beau Recall by a neck to win Saturday’s G2 Honeymoon Stakes at Santa Anita to retain that undefeated status. Under the guiding hands of Mike Smith, the Jerry Hollendorfer trainee laid second behind the early leader Tap It All, took over in the far turn and had just enough left at the wire, finishing 1 1/8 miles in 1:46.92.
While the six-filly field broke evenly, Tap It All and Sircat Sally were the most prominent in the first 100 yards. Mario Gutierrez guided Tap It All to the lead, then over to the rail to take command by just over a length through the first quarter mile in 23.79 seconds. Smith let Sircat Sally settle into second, just outside of Pacific Wind in third. Beau Recall and La Force were close together in fourth.
Tap It All extended that lead to nearly four lengths, clocking a half in :47.31, but approaching the final turn Smith made his move. Forced to do so early by Pacific Wind ranging up on his inside, Smith found a big turn of foot in Sircat Sally to neatly pull even with the leader in a matter of strides. Smith let her settle into that stride through the turn, inching toward the lead, then took command turning for home.
With a one-length lead into the stretch, Sircat Sally would have to hold off the closers after her early move. Beau Recall was the biggest threat after a two-wide bid around the far turn, but that rival could only get to Sircat Sally’s shoulder before the wire crossed overhead. Sircat Sally was declared the winner by a neck, with Beau Recall second. Pacific Wind, who had to steady as Smith made his move at the half-mile pole, had a tough trip around the turn as well and ran on well to finish third. Zaffinah was up from last to be fourth.
Bred in California by her owner, Sircat Sally is out of the winning In Excess mare Sister Sally, also bred by Turner. The filly broke her maiden at first asking, then won a trio of listed stakes before trying open graded company. She scored a pair of G3 wins, and the Honeymoon is her first Grade 2 victory, bringing her record to seven wins from seven starts with earnings of over $ 520,000.
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