04/06/2016 12:46PM

Eurton playing role of ladies' man Saturday

Benoit & Associates
Pacific Heat, trained by Peter Eurton, goes for her third stakes win in the Evening Jewel Stakes on Saturday.

ARCADIA, Calif. – There are just enough stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita on Saturday to accommodate trainer Peter Eurton’s goals for Pacific Heat, Sheeza Milky Way, and She’s a Warrior.

She’s a Warrior, a graded-stakes-placed maiden, has the daunting task of facing the undefeated champion Songbird in the $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks at 1 1/16 miles. Pacific Heat will start in the $200,000 Evening Jewel Stakes for California-breds at 6 1/2 furlongs, while Sheeza Milky Way will run in the $150,000 Providencia Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf.

Pacific Heat is the surprise runner of the three. She convinced Eurton that starting her in the Evening Jewel was a sensible move with a half-mile workout in 47.20 seconds last Sunday.

“She worked so well,” Eurton said. “She handles the Cal-breds pretty well. How do you pass it up?”

Pacific Heat has won two stakes for California-breds – the Golden State Juvenile Fillies at Del Mar last October and the California Cup Oaks on turf here in January.

Pacific Heat will be a leading contender in the Evening Jewel, but She’s a Warrior will be a longshot in the Santa Anita Oaks. Eurton said the Grade 1 status of the Santa Anita Oaks and the purse make the race attractive, even with Songbird in the field.

“We can’t beat her,” he said. “I don’t see how. It’s a Grade 1, and the purse is nice.”

There are six stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday, led by the $1 million Santa Anita Derby. The card also includes the $200,000 Echo Eddie Stakes for California-bred 3-year-olds at 6 1/2 furlongs and the $100,000 Thunder Road Stakes at a mile on turf. The Grade 3 Thunder Road Stakes was scheduled for Friday but was postponed a day to give the race a greater profile, track officials said last weekend.