03/28/2012 12:33PM

Santa Anita: Supreme Summit, Red Defense face off again Friday


ARCADIA, Calif. – Supreme Summit and Red Defense were second and third in an allowance race over a mile on March 2. They meet again in an allowance race over about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course in Friday’s seventh race at Santa Anita, and each needs a victory to end a losing streak.

Supreme Summit, fourth in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs, is winless in seven starts since winning an optional claimer at Del Mar in September 2010. He was beaten 1 1/4 lengths by the stakes winner Leroy’s Dynameaux on March 2.

“I thought he ran good last time at a mile,” trainer Mike Puype said.

“That’s not his best distance.”

Owned by Joe Lacombe, Supreme Summit has not started on the hillside turf course since finishing third behind Regally Ready in the Grade 3 San Simeon Handicap here last April. Regally Ready later won the BC Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs last November and is a starter in Saturday’s $1 million Al Quoz Sprint on turf at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai.

“He ran a good third to Regally Ready on the hillside,” Puype said. “He needs to win a race. I hope he can be competitive and win here.”

Red Defense won his five of his first six starts, but is winless in his last three races. Third in the Sensational Star Stakes for California-breds on the hillside turf course on Jan. 29, Red Defense was a nose behind Supreme Summit on March 2. Trainer Carla Gaines thought that Red Defense could have run better with a clear run through the stretch.

“He ran creditably over a mile, I thought,” Gaines said. “It might have been different if he hadn’t gotten stopped on the inside.”

Owned by Harris Farms, Red Defense has one win in four starts on the hillside turf course. “He gets the distance and he comes running late every time,” Gaines said.

The allowance drew a field of eight, including Victory Pete, who was second in the Grade 3 Daytona Stakes on the hillside turf course on Jan. 8 but last of 13 in the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap on dirt on March 3.

Chosen Miracle, a major threat, is the only runner who won his last start. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, he led throughout an optional claimer on the hillside on Feb. 17 and can do the same on Friday.