06/06/2013 2:55PM

Hollywood Park: Honeymoon distance should suit Scarlet Strike

Benoit & Associates
The Honeymoon will be Scarlet Strike's ninth consecutive stakes appearance.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Rafael Bejarano dismounted from Scarlet Strike an unsatisfied jockey after her second-place finish in the Grade 3 Senorita Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park on May 11.

Scarlet Strike's stretch-long rally missed catching upset winner Charlie Em by a head in the one-mile turf race.

"I was frustrated a little bit," Bejarano said.

Bejarano rides Scarlet Strike in Saturday's $150,000 Honeymoon Handicap for 3-year-old fillies over 1 1/8 miles on turf at Hollywood Park. Bejarano thinks that Scarlet Strike will win the Grade 2 Honeymoon Handicap over a distance that the filly prefers.

"This time, it will be different," he said in the Hollywood Park stable area on Thursday morning. "She likes to come from behind."

Scarlet Strike, who races for John Carver, Green Smith, and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, has won 2 of 11 starts and $352,340. She won the Grade 3 Providencia Stakes for 3-year-old fillies over 1 1/8 miles on turf at Santa Anita on April 6 for her first stakes win.

The Honeymoon will be Scarlet Strike's ninth consecutive stakes appearance. She finished in the top three in her first eight stakes.

In the Honeymoon, Scarlet Strike is part of a field of 11 that includes the first- and third-place finishers of the Senorita -- Charlie Em and Kyriaki.

Charlie Em won her American debut in the Senorita Stakes, racing near the front and holding off the late threat from Scarlet Strike. The Honeymoon will be the longest race in Charlie Em's career, which includes 4 wins in 9 starts. She won three minor races in England last summer and fall.

The distance will test Charlie Em, trainer Paddy Gallagher said.

"It's new territory going that far for most of them," Gallagher said. "She kind of placed herself the other day."

Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Charlie Em will be ridden by Victor Espinoza, a replacement for Garrett Gomez, who is riding at Belmont Park on Saturday.
Charlie Em was 9-1 in the Senorita. She should be a shorter price in the Honeymoon, and a filly with more to prove.

"She stayed the same since the last race," Gallagher said. "We have to see if it was a one-off thing or not."

Charlie Em is expected to race near the front, along with Somethingabouther, who drew the rail. The improving fillies Macha, trained by Hollendorfer, and Becky Lou, trained by Matt Chew, can be a factor while racing close to the lead.

Becky Lou won her American debut at 32-1 in an optional claimer over a mile on turf at Santa Anita on April 18. A longer race will suit Becky Lou, Chew said.

"I think she'll love it," he said. "She seems to not get tired."

Disko Dasko heads Manhattan Beach

Disko Dasko, who set the pace in the Senorita before fading to finish sixth, can win her first stakes in the United States in Saturday's $70,000 Manhattan Beach Stakes for 3-year-old fillies over six furlongs on turf.

Trained by Jim Cassidy, Disko Dasko was a minor stakes winner in France last October and won her U.S. debut in an optional claimer over about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf at Santa Anita on March 15.

The Manhattan Beach Stakes drew eight runners, including Judy In Disguise, who won the Sweet Life Stakes for 3-year-old turf sprinters at Santa Anita in February.