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Scarlet Strike Resolute in Providencia

With a resolute run through the stretch drive, 2-1 favorite Scarlet Strike 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 in 1:47.52.

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 the Providencia.

“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 better position.”

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.

 

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