10/06/2013 7:03PM

Santa Anita: Clenor makes it three straight in Surfer Girl

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Benoit & Associates
Under Rafael Bejarano, Clenor was able to show improved positional speed in her Surfer Girl score on Sunday.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Clenor extended her winning streak to three races in Sunday’s $101,250 Surfer Girl Stakes on turf at Santa Anita, showing a slight change in her running style that could be a benefit for her next start in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita on Nov. 1.

Instead of closing from the back of the field, Clenor was in the middle of the 10-filly field in the Surfer Girl for the first half-mile. Clenor ($3.40) rallied from sixth under Rafael Bejarano, about five lengths off the pace, before taking the lead in the final furlong.

Clenor won by three-quarters of a length over 10-1 Nesso, finishing a mile in 1:34.38.

“She showed a new dimension,” trainer Doug O’Neill said. “Bejarano thought the pace was holding on the grass and he didn’t want to give her too much to do.

“It was professional.”

Nesso, fifth early, finished three-quarters of a length in front of 12-1 Colonel Joan, who was followed by Miss Lafayette, Miss Machiavelli, Pleasant Miss, Tiz the Key, South Sound, Come On Alannah, and Feature Attraction.

South Sound, trained by O’Neill, set early fractions of 22.38 and 46.31 seconds before fading from contention.

Clenor, an Irish-bred 2-year-old by Oratorio, races for Great Friends Stable, Bob Cseplo and Steven Keh. Acquired for $250,000 during the summer, Clenor is unbeaten in three starts in the United States. She won twice at Del Mar in one-mile turf races – a maiden race on Aug. 7 and the Oak Tree Juvenile Fillies Turf on Sept. 2. In Ireland, Clenor was third in the Group 3 Balanchine Stakes on June 30, her final start in that country.

Clenor has won 3 of 6 starts and $172,799. The BC Juvenile Fillies Turf is run over a mile, but O’Neill knows the shippers from Europe and other racing circuits in the United States will provide a stern test for Clenor.

“The waters will get deeper,” O’Neill said.