01/26/2017 5:57PM

Sircat Sally making switch to turf in Cal Cup Oaks

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Benoit & Associates
Sircat Sally has won her first two starts by a total of 17 lengths.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Sircat Sally needs a challenge.

In her first two starts, Sircat Sally has been untested – a five-length maiden win at six furlongs at Del Mar in November and a 12-length win in the Soviet Problem Stakes for California-bred 2-year-old fillies at a mile at Los Alamitos last month.

For her third start in Saturday’s $200,000 California Cup Oaks at Santa Anita, Sircat Sally will switch surfaces, racing at a mile on turf. The ease of her wins so far suggests that turf racing is within her ability.

“She’s been pretty impressive so far,” trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said Thursday. “We feel like we want to try it because it’s Cal-breds, and the purse is big.”

Sircat Sally will be favored in a field of 10 against two promising rivals with turf wins – My Pi Romancer and Princess Roi. The Cal Cup Oaks is the fifth race on a 10-race program that begins at 11:45 a.m. Pacific.

KEY CONTENDERS

Sircat Sally, by Surf Cat
Beyers: 85-80

◗ Sircat Sally races for owner and breeder Joe Turner. The filly has speed. She led throughout her maiden win and again in the Soviet Problem Stakes, setting a modest pace as the 1-2 favorite before drawing off in the long stretch at Los Alamitos. Sircat Sally was based at Los Alamitos before the Soviet Problem.

“She had a home-court advantage, but she won quite easily,” Hollendorfer said.

◗ Sircat Sally’s results so far are not a surprise, he said.

“She was working well before she ran, and we had a regard for her,” Hollendorfer said.

◗ Hollendorfer said Sircat Sally’s most recent work was exceptional. Last Saturday, she worked with stablemate He Will between races, running six furlongs on a wet-fast track in 1:11.80.

My Pi Romancer, by Unusual Heat
Last 3 Beyers: 76-56-59

◗ My Pi Romancer was the sharp winner of a maiden race for California-breds at a mile on turf Jan. 2, leading throughout to prevail by five lengths. Trained by Keith Desormeaux, My Pi Romancer has been effective as a closer and on the front end. The Cal Cup Oaks will be her stakes debut.

Princess Roi, by Roi Charmant
Last 3 Beyers: 72-59-65

◗ Princess Roi was second in two maiden sprints for California-bred fillies at Del Mar last summer but has been much brighter since switching to one-mile races on turf for her last two starts. Trained by Richard Baltas, Princess Roi won a maiden race for California-bred fillies Nov. 17 and was a game second to Miss Sugars in the Blue Norther Stakes against open company Dec. 29.

“She had a turfy action,” Baltas said. “We switched her long, and that’s a good thing.”

Adios Cali, by Adios Charlie
Beyer: 66

◗ Adios Cali won her debut in a maiden race for California-bred 2-year-old fillies at 5 1/2 furlongs at Los Alamitos on Dec. 10, closing from second in a field of six to win by a half-length. Trained by Peter Miller, Adios Cali is one of several fillies in the Cal Cup Oaks field capable of racing near the front.