06/16/2016 9:16AM

Few willing to face Uptown Twirl in Pleasanton Oaks

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Benoit & Associates
Uptown Twirl enters Saturday's Pleasanton Oaks off an April win in the Surfside Stakes.

Only five 3-year-old fillies were entered for the first stakes of the fair season, Saturday’s $50,000 Pleasanton Oaks at the Oak Tree at Pleasanton meet at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. The presence of Uptown Twirl, coming off a win in the $75,000 Surfside at Los Alamitos, could partially explain the low turnout in the six-furlong race.

The John Sadler-trained filly set the pace in the six-furlong Surfside but was headed in the lane by Moment Is Right, who returns in this field. Uptown Twirl dug in gamely to reclaim the lead and pulled away for a 1 1/4-length win, earning a career-high 84 Beyer Speed Figure.

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Uptown Twirl is a half-sister to Anytime Magic, now a low-level claiming sprinter here but also the winner of the Everett Nevin Stakes over this track as a 2-year-old.

Moment Is Right was making her California and 2016 debut in the Surfside. She also recorded her career-best Beyer in that race, an 81. In her next start, she tired badly and finished sixth in the Miss Preakness at Pimlico.

The remainder of the field claims Northern California as a home base.

Andean was sent to Hastings in British Columbia for her last start May 8 and was favored in the Ross McLeod Stakes, but she never got untracked and finished sixth, placed fifth when the runner-up was disqualified for a medication violation.

Mother Luck scored a front-running win at Golden Gate on May 14 in her only start. Trainer Jeff Bonde loves to win in Pleasanton, his hometown, and has enjoyed stakes success here.

Breakaway Dixie, with a win and three thirds in her last four starts, rounds out the field.

PLEASANTON OAKS (Race 8)

KEY CONTENDERS

Uptown Twirl, by Twirling Candy

Last 3 Beyers: 84-74-73

◗ She’s been off seven weeks since the Surfside but has four works in the last month.

◗ She has two wins and a second in three starts at this distance, including a second last year at 2 in the Anoakia Stakes at Santa Anita.

Moment Is Right, by Medaglia d’Oro

Last 3 Beyers: 64-81-80

◗ She has run at a different track in each of her six starts, and this is her first appearance at Pleasanton.

◗ She should be tighter and hang on better here after the Pimlico bounce.

Andean, by City Zip

Last 3 Beyers: 62-74-69

◗ She is a half-sister to millionaire Mr. Z and has been a consistent performer at Golden Gate.

◗ Look for her to sit back early and be a factor late.