HOLLYWOOD OAKS | PURSE: $150,000 | 3-YEAR-OLD FILLIES | GRADE 2 | 1 1/16 MILES
There was no catching California-bred Doinghardtimeagain, who ran away with the $150,000 Hollywood Oaks as the odds-on choice in her graded stakes debut June 22 at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Tommy Town Thoroughbreds' homebred daughter of Ministers Wild Cat earned her third consecutive win with Rafael Bejarano at the controls. The dark bay or brown filly won for the fourth time in as many tries over Hollywood's Cushion Track while posting her fourth stakes victory. The other three came against state-bred company.
Doinghardtimeagain ran the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:43.27 while defeating 2-1 second choice Iotapa by 2 ½ lengths. Ondine was third, three lengths behind the winner, in the field of five 3-year-old fillies.
Hollendorfer, a Hall of Fame trainer, previously won the Hollywood Oaks in 2006 with Hystericalady.
"We thought we had the best horse and so we used our speed,'' said Hollendorfer. "When they came to us, fortunately she was able to hold them off."
Bejarano hustled Doinghardtimeagain out of the gate from her rail post and led through fractions of :23.98 and :47.78 as Ondine, ridden by Martin Garcia, and Iotapa and Joe Talamo tracked up the backstretch in single file with Ciao Bella Luna and Unbridled Wee following.
Doinghardtimeagain reached the six-furlong mark in 1:11.77 as Ondine and Iotapa, on the far outside, turned up the pressure rounding the bend. But Doinghardtimeagain was never seriously in trouble as she took command in upper stretch with little urging from Bejarano. She won under good handling while drifting out a bit in the late going.
"I just kept my position on the rail,'' Bejarano said. "She was real comfortable all the way. I didn't hit her too much, just a few taps on the shoulder. She can pretty much do anything. She's real easy to ride.''
Iotapa and Ondine failed to make an impact on the winner through the lane while waging a tussle for second. Iotapa finished a half-length in front of Ondine. Ciao Bella Luna, also trained by Hollendorfer, and Unbridled Wee followed.
Doinghardtimeagain had back-to-back bullet works at Hollywood coming into the Oaks, most recently drilling a handy half-mile in :47 1/5 June 17.
"She's doing everything on her own (in her works)," Hollendorfer said. "We don't urge her to do anything in the morning. I don't bullet work my horses, so whenever somebody sees any of our horses with bullet works, they did it on their own.
Out of the Conquistador Cielo mare Silver Hawk Lady, Doinghardtimeagain improved her career record to 5-3-0 in nine tries with earnings of $573,770. She won the 6 ½-furlong Evening Jewel Stakes March 30 by 3 1/2 lengths at Santa Anita Park, then captured the Melair Stakes at 1 1/16 miles at Hollywood in her most recent try by 1 ¼ lengths.
As a 2-year-old last December, Doinghardtimeagain won the Soviet Problem Stakes, also at Hollywood.
Doinghardtimeagain carried top weight of 119 pounds and paid $3.60, $2.20, $2.10. Hronis Racing's Iotapa, winner of the listed Railbird Stakes last time for trainer John Sadler and second in the Santa Anita Oaks before that, returned $2.40 and $2.20. The exacta was worth $6.80. Ondine paid $2.80.
Hollendorfer said he has not decided on a next start for Doinghardtimeagain,
One of the possibilities is the $300,000 Delaware Oaks July 13 at Delaware Park. Hollendorfer won the race, which is also at 1 1/16 miles, with champion Blind Luck in 2010 but he said it might be too quick a turnaround.