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Nonios saves Hollendorfer's day

Saturday wasn’t a particularly good day for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer at Santa Anita. A pair of his promising three year olds tried to get their seasons back on track in stakes races. The results were not favorable.

Lady of Fifty, his star filly, who ran 6th against the boys in the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields last month, got back with the ladies in the $70,000 China Doll Stakes but ran last in the field on nine. One race later, Rousing Sermon, trying to better his fourth place finish in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (Placed third through DQ) ran 5th in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes.

Not what he was hoping for, for a pair that seemed Kentucky bound just a month ago.

But wait, the day was not a total loss for the Hollendorfer camp. That’s because back home at GGF, a lesser known three-year old of his was turning in one of the top performances on the meet.

Nonios, a son of  Pleasantly Perfect, stayed unbeaten in two career starts with an impressive 6 length win over a field that included Cahill Chrome (runner up in the California Derby) and Unveiled Heat (4th in the El Camino Real). He ran the mile in 1:37.43 just the second fastest mile of the meet. But just winning the race doesn’t say as much for the horse as the visual proof.

Trailing by 11 lengths at the half mile mark, jockey Russell Baze asked him to go, and he sure did. With a fierce rally around the turn, Nonios went from last to first and opened a daylight lead in a matter of strides. The race was over right then.

“I really didn‘t think we would be quite that far behind, but we had a pretty solid pace to run at so I wasn’t worried. I know this horse is going to give me a good run every time I ask him.,” Baze said. 

“He’s been pretty impressive from the get go and he hasn’t done anything to disappoint us yet. I got in on the ground floor on this one. I’m pretty excited about him”

Hollendorfer, never the one to show much outward excitement, took the race in his usual low key manner.

“I really didn’t want to run him a mile in his second race,  but there was nothing else and he has been training good. I think he is developing into a nice colt.”

In Nonios’ maiden win, he beat a field of six but two of them, Yard Bully and Downtown TC came back to break their maiden in their very next race.

“It’s maybe a little early to make comparisons, because he’s still a little green, but I have no doubt in my mind he will be heard from down the line,”  Baze added.
 
 
 

 

What the Nation is saying about Nonios saves Hollendorfer's day...

This looks like a serious race horse, not that he beat the best horses, but with the ease he did it. He should run all day with that breeding. I hope he runs in the Bluegrass (*polytrack) or the Arkansas Derby, looks like the big horses will run elsewhere, best to avoid them and get the graded earings.
baffert controls the out come,hollendorfer needs to take a back seat when it comes to a stake race
As usual Jerry was non-committal about his next race. My guess would be another allowance race, probably down at Santa Anita.
Looks like a serious race horse, Don ... is Hollendorfer thinking big with him, i.e. graded stakes for his next start?

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Meet Don August

I have been involved in horse racing, from a fan to sportswriter, for the past 30 years. The first time my dad took me to the track, I picked a horse named "Black Tornado" and when he won, I was hooked.  From then on, I spent weekends and occasional school days at the race track, and my enjoyment of the sport led me to try my hand at being a jockey agent, which i did for 3 years. When that didn't work out as I had hoped, I concentrated on my writing career by covering big races and doing summer fair handicapping, off and on, for the Contra Costa Times.

Today, I stay involved in the sport by being part of a group that currently owns two horses stabled at Golden Gate Fields. As all owners, we have dreams of someday having that special horse.  Besides writing about horse racing I enjoy covering many sports and have had the honor of meeting and writing about some incredible athletes.