10/04/2013 2:06PM

Santa Anita: Clenor preps for Juvenile Fillies Turf in Surfer Girl

Shigeki Kikkawa
Clenor will try to add the Surfer Girl Stakes to her victory in the Oak Tree Juvenile Fillies Turf.

ARCADIA, Calif. – The late rally that Clenor showed under jockey Rafael Bejarano to win the Oak Tree Juvenile Fillies Turf at Del Mar on Sept. 2 justified her six-figure purchase price during the summer.

“That kick she gave Rafael was jaw-dropping,” trainer Doug O’Neill said. “She’s got a huge turn of foot.”

Clenor won her first stakes in the $100,750 Oak Tree Juvenile Fillies Turf. She starts in Sunday’s $100,000 Surfer Girl Stakes for 2-year-old fillies over a mile on turf as a prep race for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf here on Nov. 1.

Owned by Great Friends Stable, Bob Cseplo, and Steve Keh, Clenor will be a strong favorite in a field of 10 in the Surfer Girl. An Irish-bred by Oratorio, Clenor began her career in that country, where she was winless in three starts, with a third in the Group 3 Balanchine Stakes at the Curragh on June 30.

Acquired by her current owners for $250,000, according to O’Neill, Clenor won her American debut in a maiden race over a mile on turf on Aug. 7.

“She continues to do well,” O’Neill said. “You like to think the longer she’s here, the better she’ll get. She’s got tons of class.”

Bejarano retains the mount on Clenor, who will be a threat from the back of the field.

There will be pace to follow.

The O’Neill-trained South Sound, unraced since a seventh in the Landaluce at Betfair Hollywood Park July 13, makes her turf debut in the Surfer Girl. She drew the rail and is capable of setting the pace.

The field also includes Pleasant Miss, who has placed in three stakes, including running third in the Oak Tree Juvenile Fillies Turf.

Nesso set the pace in the Oak Tree Juvenile Fillies Turf before finishing second by 3 1/4 lengths to Clenor. She has drawn post 9 for the Surfer Girl. Nesso has not had an ideal preparation, trainer Vann Belvoir said.

“She popped an abscess out of a foot and we lost a little bit of time,” he said on Friday. “She had a good work on the grass the other day.”

Nesso worked five furlongs on turf in 1:01.40 on Sept. 28. Belvoir is hoping for a competitive race to justify starting Nesso in the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf.

“If she runs well, she could go,” he said. “We’d be excited if that could happen.”