01/22/2012 4:31PM

Santa Anita: Caracortado, Compari to face off in Sensational Star Stakes on Sunshine Millions card

Benoit & Associates
Caracortado wins the Grade 3 Daytona Stakes on Jan. 8 at Santa Anita.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Four graded stakes winners, including the multiple stakes winners Caracortado, Compari, and Unzip Me, are among the entrants for Saturday’s three California-bred stakes in the Sunshine Millions races at Santa Anita.

Caracortado and Compari lead a field of eight in the $100,000 Sensational Star Stakes over about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course, the day’s fourth race and the first of three consecutive stakes in the Sunshine Millions series.

Caracortado won the Grade 3 Daytona Stakes on the hillside turf course with a brilliant rally on Jan. 8, his fifth stakes win, and will be favored in the Sensational Star. In January 2011, Caracortado, 5, won the Sunshine Millions Turf when the event was open to California-breds and Florida-breds. This year’s races at Santa Anita are for California-breds. The Florida-bred stakes will be held at Gulfstream Park.

Compari won an optional claimer over a mile on turf Jan. 5, his first win since the Grade 2 Arcadia Mile on turf here in April 2010. Compari won the 2010 Sensational Star Handicap.

Holladay Road, third in the California Cup Classic last October, is the top contender in the $100,000 Crystal Water Stakes over 1 1/16 miles for older horses. The field of six features one stakes winner in Thirtyfirststreet, who won the Lone Star Derby on turf last May. Trained by Doug O’Neill, Thirtyfirststreet won an optional claimer over 1 1/16 miles here Jan. 12.

Unzip Me will start in the longest race of her career in the $100,000 Valentine Dancer Stakes over a mile on turf for fillies and mares. Trained by Marty Jones, Unzip Me, 6, has won 13 of 24 starts, including nine stakes. Her nine stakes wins have ranged in distances from five to about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course.

In her last start, Unzip Me finished in a dead heat for third behind Mizdirection in the Grade 3 Monrovia Stakes here Jan. 2.

Unzip Me is one of four stakes winners in a field of 10 in the Valentine Dancer. The field includes California Nectar, winner of the Grade 2 Santa Ynez Stakes in 2011; and Halo Dolly, winner of the Solana Beach Stakes over a mile on turf for California-breds at Del Mar last summer. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Halo Dolly, 4, won an allowance on the Tapeta Footings synthetic track at Golden Gate Fields on Jan. 15.