Scherzinger wins $200,000 Santa Monica Stakes

scherzingerJockey Mike Smith rode Scherzinger to victory at the Santa Monica Stakes at Santa Anita Park in California on January 25. It was the horse’s stakes debut and she ran to a one-length victory at the $200,000 event. Scherzinger is a four-year-old daughter of Tiz Wonderful and she’s trained by Jerry Hollendorfer.

Scherzinger flew by Teddy’s Promise down the deep stretch then held on to take the race on the fast track. She ran the seven furlongs in a minute and 22 seconds. Teddy’s Promise, who won the Santa Monica Stakes by three lengths last year, was racing in her final event and was hoping to go over the $1 million mark in career earrings. However, she placed third. The six-year-old daughter of Salt Lake will soon be heading to Kentucky for breeding.

Scherzinger started the race with at 4 to 1 odds at the online racebooks and the chestnut filly has now won four out of her last five starts. The Santa Monica Stakes was also her first race beyond six furlongs. For jockey Smith, it was his 23rd victory of the Santa Anita meet. Smith said he likes seven-eighths for Scherzinger because of her long stride. He said she just keeps on coming and wears down her opponents.

Scherzinger ran the opening quarter mile in 23 seconds and led by one length over Teddy’s Promise. Teddy’s Promise then took the lead at the three-eighths pole after 45.48 seconds. Scherzinger fell back by two lengths, but the leaders then began to tire down the drive. Scherzinger came up alongside the rail and took over at the 16th pole. Lotapa finished in second followed by Teddy’s Promise. Heir Kitty finished in fourth place with Winding Way coming in fifth and Lexington Pearl rounding off the field in sixth place.

Scherzinger’s owners said Mike Smith did a fantastic job since they thought it would be a tough task to win a race with Teddy’s Promise in it. Scherzinger was bred down in Kentucky and made her debut in November of 2012 when she was the runner up at the Calder Casino and Race Course. The horse has now won four of her seven starts and has career earnings to of $245,374.

Jockey Victor Espinoza who rode Teddy’s Promise during the race, said it was a difficult run right from the start. He remarked that Scherzinger broke out of the gate pretty quick and he was then stuck on the inside. He added that he didn’t really want to go head and head with her so he then moved to the outside. However, Heir Kitty, who was on the outside, put pressure on him immediately and Teddy’s Promise just didn’t have enough left to finish strongly.

The Santa Monica Stakes is the first one of six stakes races which are on the Santa Anita Sunshine Millions/California Cup program. The events are for state-breds and are funded by the Golden State Series.

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