Union Strike Takes Santa Paula Stakes; Provides Brice Blanc With 1,000th Career Win

Dismissed at 9-1, three year old filly Union Strike provided veteran jockey Brice Blanc with his 1,000th career win, as she rallied from off the pace to win Sunday’s $75,000 Santa Paula Stakes at Santa Anita by 1 ½ lengths while getting 6 ½ furlongs in 1:15.92. Owned and trained by Mick Ruis, she had been winless in two starts since taking the Grade I Del Mar Debutante on Sept. 3.

When asked how he felt about winning his 1,000th race, Blanc, 43 and a native of Lyon, France, responded: “I tried not to think about it, but it’s hard and it’s always in the back of your mind. When you’re one or two away and it’s not coming, it can be frustrating.

“This filly keeps improving and I’m glad to be a part of the team. I’m grateful to be a part of all of it. Every time you win big races and you get a milestone victory it’s just so special…I was really excited when he asked me to work her a couple of mornings. I loved the change of plans when Mick decided to scratch her yesterday and run today.”

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