04/06/2013 6:19PM

Santa Anita: Hollendorfer ties Leatherbury in wins with Providencia Stakes victory

Benoit & Associates
Scarlet Strike, with Rafael Bejarano riding, wins the Providencia, giving trainer Jerry Hollendorfer his 6,375th victory.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Scarlet Strike won the first stakes of her career in Saturday’s $151,250 Providencia Stakes at Santa Anita, leaving Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer in a tie with King Leatherbury for fourth-place on the all-time wins list with 6,375 victories.

Hollendorfer entered Saturday trailing the Maryland-based Leatherbury by two wins. Hollendorfer won twice at Santa Anita and once at Golden Gate Fields on Saturday, while Leatherbury won the featured race at Pimlico, the Mister Diz Stakes with Ben’s Cat.

Hollendorfer admitted earlier in the week that he was a “statistics watcher” and knew he was close to catching Leatherbury.  Hollendorfer and Leatherbury rank behind Dale Baird, Steve Asmussen, and Jack Van Berg on the all-time list.

“Those guys, King, Jack, Dale and the others, are idols of mine,” Hollendorfer said in the winner’s circle after the Providencia.

Scarlet Strike ($6) ran 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:47.52, catching pacesetter Birdlover in the final sixteenth to win by a half-length. Co-owned by Hollendorfer, John Carver, and Green Smith, Scarlet Strike started in her seventh consecutive stakes in the Providencia for 3-year-old fillies.

By Smart Strike, Scarlet Strike was second or third in the first six of those races, including a runner-up finish in the Grade 1 Chandelier Stakes here last September. Through the span of stakes second- and third-place finishes, she ran on dirt and synthetic tracks and on turf before starting on turf on Saturday.

Hollendorfer thought Scarlet Strike was capable of a breakthrough win in the Providencia Stakes.

“I don’t like to give up on a horse when they have talent,” he said. “It was a matter of circumstances.”

Scarlet Strike was ridden by leading rider Rafael Bejarano. Scarlet Strike was seventh in a field of 10 for the first half-mile. She moved closer to the front on the turn, and was second with a furlong remaining, trailing Birdlover by a half-length.

Sweet Red Cat, a 10-1 outsider, finished third, followed by Flashy Ways, Sarach, Kyriaki, Magnificent Shirl, Akiss Forarose, Wittgenstein, and Sultry Season.
Scarlet Strike has won 2 of 10 starts and $332,340.