Scherzinger’s only dud in a six-race career came on turf, when she finished seventh and last after a slow start at Hollywood Park last November. Take it from Mike Smith, who rides her in Saturday’s Grade II Santa Monica Stakes for older fillies and mares at seven furlongs on the main track, she’s much better than that. It will mark the first stakes race for Scherzinger.
“You can throw that race out completely,” said the Hall of Fame rider, whose mounts have earned more than $1.2 million so far this meet.
“It’s not that she probably couldn't run on grass; she didn’t know what to do on it,” Smith said. “She came back after that and ran extremely well (winning on Santa Anita’s traditional dirt Jan. 2), and she’s doing well. She deserves a chance, and I think she’ll have a big one.”
The field for the Santa Monica, the fourth race on a 10-race card that starts at 12 noon: Iotapa, Rafael Bejarano, 9-2; Teddy’s Promise, Victor Espinoza, 2-1; Lexington Pearl, Joe Talamo, 6-1; Heir Kitty, Gary Stevens, 3-1; Socialbug, Martin Garcia, 9-2; Scherzinger, Mike Smith, 4-1; and Winding Way, Tyler Baze, 12-1.
Socialbug worked six furlongs Friday in 1:12 for Bob Baffert, indicating she would be scratched from the Santa Monica.