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Escape Act Goes Turf to Dirt in Santa Ysabel

Escape Act had been on or close to the lead in her first three career starts, breaking her maiden in front-running fashion at six furlongs on Betfair Hollywood Park’s turf course Dec. 15.

Last out, when she finished fourth in the grassy Blue Norther at Santa Anita on New Year’s Day, the Kentucky-bred daughter of Medaglia d’Oro rallied from ninth to be beaten only a neck at odds of 15-1. The change in running style surprised her trainer.

“I thought she’d be on the lead that day,” said Gary Stute, who has her entered in Saturday’s Grade III Santa Ysabel Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles on the main track.

“She stumbled at the start of the Blue Norther and I gave her no chance after that, but she came flying. I thought she ran a winning race.”

Escape Act, a bay filly owned by Bo Hirsch, son of the late Oak Tree President Clement Hirsch, is going from turf to dirt, but Stute is not unduly concerned.

“We’ll find out,” he said. “I’m hoping Escape Act can transfer her form over to the dirt.”

The field for the Santa Ysabel, which goes as the fourth race: Escape Act, Martin Garcia, 3-1; Fiftyshadesofhay, Rafael Bejarano, 6-1; Scarlet Strike, Joe Talamo, 8-5; Switch to the Lead, Julien Leparoux, 8-1; and Heir Kitty, Garrett Gomez, 7-5.

Branding was scratched.



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