With a resolute run through the stretch drive, 2-1 favorite Scarlet
and Rafael Bejarano gradually wore down front running Birdlover
and Edwin Maldonado, winning Saturday’s Grade III, $150,000
Providencia Stakes by a half length while covering 1 1/8 miles on turf
Third to Beholder in the Grade I Las Virgenes Stakes at one mile
on dirt March 2, trainer and part-owner Jerry Hollendorfer opted to
shift the daughter of Smart Strike to turf and stretch out a furlong in
“A terrific race for this filly,” said Holledorfer. “I’m very
proud of her. Rafael has a real knack for being in the right place at
the right time and I think that’s the reason why he’s doing so well. We
have a very good rapport with him and his agent. You couldn’t get a
better ride than that.”
Far back early in a field of ten 3-year-old fillies, Scarlet
Strike ran into fractions of 23.80, 47.70, 1:12.17 and 1:35.94. She
paid $6.00, $3.80 and $2.80.
With the winner’s share of $90,000, Scarlet Strike improved her
earnings to $332,340 and ran her overall record to 10-2-3-5. In
addition to Hollendorfer, she is owned by John Carver and Green Smith.
“At the three-eighths pole I found my position right behind the
leader so I just followed her and kept on running,” said Bejarano. “I
still had a lot of horse, so that’s why I moved a little early to find a
Birdlover, the second choice at 4-1, was valiant in defeat,
finishing 2 ¼ lengths in front of Sweet Red Cat and Garrett Gomez.
Birdlover paid $4.80 and $3.60.
Sweet Red Cat, off at 10-1, paid $6.00 to show.
The Providencia was run as the eighth on an 11-race Santa Anita Derby Day.