12/29/2012 3:59PM

Santa Anita: Scarlet Strike tries something new in Blue Norther

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Benoit & Associates
The timing of the race, not the surface, is the reason Scarlet Strike is running in the Blue Norther, said trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.

ARCADIA, Calif. – After chasing Executiveprivilege, Midnight Ballet, and Pure Fun in autumn stakes, Scarlet Strike is starting the winter with a change of surface in Tuesday’s $75,000 Blue Norther Stakes at Santa Anita.

The Blue Norther, run over a mile on turf for 3-year-old fillies, will be Scarlet Strike’s first start on grass and does not necessarily reflect a long-term change in plans, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said.

“I hate to keep switching back and forth,” he said. “Timing-wise, this race is the best for us.

“She should run well on turf and she’s bred for it.”

By Smart Strike, Scarlet Strike has one win in six starts and has earned $184,240.

She was second to Executiveprivilege in the Grade 1 Chandelier Stakes at Santa Anita in September, and third in two stakes at the Betfair Hollywood Park meeting – behind Midnight Ballet in the Sharp Cat Stakes in November and Pure Fun in the Grade 1 Starlet Stakes on Dec.  8.

In the Starlet, Scarlet Strike was a 19-1 outsider and was beaten three lengths by Pure Fun.

“I thought she ran well,” Hollendorfer said. “It was a tough field.”

The Blue Norther Stakes has drawn a strong field of 14, but will be limited to 11 starters. The race is led by Travesura, who won the Grade 3 Miesque Stakes for 2-year-old fillies on turf at Hollywood Park in November, and Heir Kitty, who was graded stakes placed against males at Del Mar in August.

After Tuesday’s race, Hollendorfer will have plenty of options for Scarlet Strike at the rest of this meeting.

The next major stakes for 3-year-old fillies on the main track is the $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes over 1  1/16 miles on Jan. 26. The schedule of turf races for 3-year-old fillies is concentrated in the second half of the meeting, with the focus on the $150,000 Providencia Stakes over 1  1/8 miles on turf on April 7.