10/23/2012 1:49PM

Golden Gate: Pike Place Dancer coming up strong

Shigeki Kikkawa
Miss Empire, winner of the Cinderella Stakes at Hollywood Park, is the most accomplished of those expected to run in the $100,000 Pike Place Dancer on Saturday.

Golden Gate Fields racing secretary David Jerkens said that at least four of the 20 nominated to Saturday’s $100,000 Pike Place Dancer Stakes have been confirmed to run, and he expects several more to commit to the one-mile turf race for 2-year-old fillies.

The Peter Miller-trained Miss Empire is the most accomplished of the four with a victory in the Cinderella Stakes at Hollywood Park and thirds in the Grade 1 Chandelier Stakes on Sept. 24 at Santa Anita and the Grade 2 Best Pal against colts at Del Mar.

Unusual Way, trained by Jeff Bonde, won the Wine Country Debutante on Aug. 11 in her last start. The Unusual Heat filly should appreciate the turf and chance to route.

Butterfly Soul, trained by Genaro Vallejo, won her debut at Golden Gate Fields and then took the Phil D. Shepherd Stakes at Fairplex.

Somethingabouther was third in the $100,000 Surfer Girl on the turf at Santa Anita on Oct. 8.

Trainer Michael Maker nominated two fillies to the Pike Place Dancer – Always Kitten and Kitten’s Dumplings, both of whom made their last start at Keeneland.

The Pike Place Dancer is named for the Jerry Hollendorfer-trained filly who beat males on the turf in the California Derby before winning the Kentucky Oaks in 1996.