Seduire rolls in Santa Ynez

Gunning from the rail for Rafael Bejarano, Seduire put away pace rival Xoxo leaving the turn and kicked away in the drive to win the $200,000 Santa Ynez Stakes in a powerful performance Jan. 3 at Santa Anita Park.

Winning by 2-1/4 lengths over the stalker Callback, 4-1 shot Seduire earned her first graded stakes victory while completing the 6-1/2-furlong test of 3-year-old fillies in a sharp 1:15.37 over a fast track.

Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer for Regis Farms, Seduire was coming off a 5-1/2-length tally in the Golden Gate Debutante Nov. 29 and posted her fourth win overall in seven starts. The gray or roan daughter of Elusive Quality boosted her earnings to $262,200.

"Coming from the rail, you don't really have a lot of choices if you have a speed horse," said Hollendorfer after collecting his third graded stakes win of the young Santa Anita meet. "She got lucky and got away smoothly. I think the fractions were pretty decent. We might stretch her out around two turns. I take them one a time."

Spendthrift Farm's Callback was a clear second by 4-3/4 lengths over Xoxo. Anoakia Stakes winner Light the City, the 5-2 favorite in the field of nine who was also saddled by Hollendorfer, chased the pace to the quarter pole before dropping back to finish fifth.

Cutting out speedy fractions of :21.76 seconds and :44.25 seconds along the inside, Seduire began to inch away from Xoxo and Kent Desormeaux leaving the quarter pole and took control when asked in the homestretch. She made the furlong marker in 1:08.73 in front by two lengths and was kept to her task by Bejarano to the wire.

"Seduire broke sharp from the gate," Bejarano said. "I was hoping she would because she likes to be on the lead and I had a bad post. She broke well so I took advantage. I got her relaxed and tried to give her a breather. When I felt pressured going into the stretch I let her go and she showed me a big kick."

Bred in Ontario by Anderson Farms Ontario and Marette Farrell from of the unraced Holy Bull mare Holy Eclair, Seduire was acquired from her breeder for $130,000 at the 2012 Keeneland November breeding stock sale by Regis Farms.

Callback, ridden by Martin Garcia at odds of 17-1, was clearly second best but never threatened the winner in her first start against winners for trainer Bob Baffert. Xoxo held on for third by 2-1/2 lengths over Lady Lake in a strung out finish. Light the City was followed by Hennythelovepenny, Morning Coffee, Rattataptap, and Conquest Harlanate, the 7-2 second choice who was eased after balking at the starting gate and trailing throughout.

"She just wasn't comfortable the first 100 yards out of the gate," jockey Mike Smith said of Conquest Harlanate, a graded stakes winner on turf and synthetic surfaces and making her first start on dirt. "I gave her a chance to get comfortable and she just didn't.

"I tried to make her go a little bit after that but the more uncomfortable she got, I just said 'You know, let's just pull her up, get her back to the barn safe and we'll figure it out later.' Other than that, she came back fine and that's the important thing."

Sent off as the fourth choice, Seduire carried 119 pounds and paid $10.60, $6, and $4.20. She keyed a $135.60 exacta with Callback, who returned $13.40 and $7.40. Xoxo paid $7.80.