06/01/2016 1:00PM

Finest City in deep in Vanity Mile

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Benoit & Associates
Finest City, winninbg the Great Lady M. at Los Alamitos, must face champions Beholder and Stellar Wind in the Vanity Mile.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Finest City faces a daunting task in Saturday’s $400,000 Vanity Mile at Santa Anita.

In her first start at a mile, Finest City runs in a Grade 1 race against two champions of 2015 – Beholder, the outstanding older female, and Stellar Wind, the outstanding 3-year-old filly.

Finest City gave trainer Ian Kruljac, 27, his first stakes win in the Grade 2 Great Lady M. Stakes at Los Alamitos on April 23. Kruljac has realistic expectations for Saturday, hoping to finish in the top three for a coveted Grade 1 placing.

“We’d be thrilled,” Kruljac said. “If you want to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best.”

Finest City, by City Zip, has won 3 of 10 starts and earned $275,594 for Seltzer Thoroughbreds.

The Vanity Mile will be the first meeting between Beholder and Stellar Wind and is the highlight of a Saturday program that includes the $400,000 Shoemaker Mile, a Grade 1 on turf.

The Vanity Mile probably will have a small field. As of Wednesday morning, the stakes winner Lost Bus and the stakes-placed All Star Bub were the other expected starters.

Taris, the winner of the Grade 1 Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs on May 7, will be entered. Trainer Simon Callaghan said a decision on her participation will be made closer to the race.

The Shoemaker Mile also is expected to have a small field. The shippers Heart to Heart and Tourist, who were second and third in the Grade 1 Maker’s 46 Mile at Keeneland on April 15, will race against a local group led by Home Run Kitten and Twentytwentyvision, who were first and third in the Grade 3 American Stakes on May 6.