Justwhistledixie Headlines El Encino Stakes
Justwhistledixie loves sunshine. Last year, as a three-year-old, she captured both the Davona Dale (gr. II) and Bonnie Miss Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida. The Bonnie Miss (G2). She was amongst the top three-year-old fillies of last year, winning five in a row, including four straight stakes. This year, as a four-year-old, she has moved to the sunny state of California to continue her marked success in Sunday's $150,000 El Encino Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park.
Most recently, Justwhistledixie ran a game second after a 5 ½ month freshening to multiple graded stakes winner Sara Louise in the Top Flight Handicap (gr. II) on November 27th at Aqueduct. She raced wide for most of the race, before finishing strongly missing by half a length. The effort should put Dixie in a prime position to run well on Sunday. This will be her second start under Hall of Fame conditioner Bill Mott. She has a record of 5-2-2 from nine lifetime starts and earnings over $427,000.
The dark bay daughter of Dixie Union will be trying the Pro-Ride surface for the first time in the El Encino. She handled the track very well in a January 10th work, in which she breezed five furlongs in 1:01.80. Eclipse award winning jockey Garrett Gomez has the call in Sunday's contest.
"She has trained as good as ever in Florida (at Payson Park) and shipped to California on January 5th," West Point president Terry Finley said. "We think she will improve in her second start off the layoff. Bill Mott has liked this filly since the first day she arrived in his barn."
The mile and one sixteenth El Encino drew a full field of talented fillies including two year champion Stardom Bound, Best Lass, and Dream Empress. However, we would not trade places with anyone. Our filly is the one to beat and the morning line favorite at 7/2. Post time for the El Encino is 7:07 EST/4:07 EST.