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Delta Flower Seeks Fourth Straight in Summertime Oaks

Delta Flower - 615x400 Benoit Photo
Photo: Benoit Photo
Speedy Delta Flower seeks her fourth consecutive win Saturday as she heads a field of eight 3-year-old fillies in Santa Anita’s Grade II, $200,000 Summertime Oaks, to be contested at a mile and a sixteenth.

One of three Jerry Hollendorfer trainees, Delta Flower comes off a game neck victory in the seven furlong Angel’s Flight Stakes on May 17, and she’ll be trying a route of ground for the first time in the Oaks.  An Arkansas-bred daughter of the A.P. Indy stallion A.P. Delta, Delta Flower won her first two races earlier this year at Oaklawn Park and made her first start for Hollendorfer in the Angel’s Flight.

Owned by Campbell, Clark, Robertson, Hollendorfer and Skoda, Delta Flower battled back gamely under left handed encouragement in winning the Angel’s Flight and she’ll be ridden back on Saturday by Corey Nakatani.  With three wins and a third from four starts, she has earnings of $134,100.

Trainer Eoin Harty’s Arethusa has been keeping the best company, as her last four races have been in graded stakes—three of them Grade I’s.  Her best finish was a close third three starts back in the Grade I, one mile Las Virgenes on Feb. 1, and her most recent out resulted in a sixth place run in the Grade II, 1 1/8 miles Black Eyed Susan at Pimlico on May 16.

Her lone win came as a maiden five starts back in the 1 1/16 miles Sharp Cat Stakes at Hollywood Park Nov. 16 and the Summertime Oaks would appear to be the softest spot she’s had since.  By A.P. Indy and out of the Coronado’s Quest mare Miss Coronado, the Godolphin Racing, LLC homebred is 8-1-1-2, with earnings of $154,610.

Ridden by Rosie Napravnik at Pimlico, Arethusa will be ridden by Mike Smith, who was aboard for her debut run at Del Mar on Aug. 10, 2013.

Seventh in the Black Eyed Susan, trainer Wesley Ward’s La Mejor Fiesta was a winner three starts back of the one mile Trapeze Stakes at Remington Park on Dec. 15.  She was ridden by Kent Desormeaux, who has the call Saturday.  Well traveled, La Mejor Fiesta was a first-out maiden winner going five furlongs on turf at Churchill Downs on June 13, 2013, and she’s run at a different track in all seven of her career starts.

Owned by Ice Wine Stable and by Harlan’s Holiday, La Mejor Fiesta’s overall mark stands at 7-2-1-1.  She has earnings of $79,690.

With all horses assigned 118 pounds, the Summertime Oaks, to be run as the eighth race on a nine race program Saturday, with jockeys in post position order is as follows:  Jojo Warrior, Martin Garcia; Live for Now, Tyler Baze; Arethusa, Mike Smith; Delta Flower, Corey Nakatani; La Mejor Fiesta, Kent Desormeaux; Front Range, Joe Talamo; Fleet of Gold, Alex Solis, and Stop Smiling, Gary Stevens.


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