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Doinghardtimeagain Goes Gate-to-Wire in Hollywood Oaks

Favored Doinghardtimeagain remained perfect over Cushion Track and earned the first graded victory of her career with a gate-to-wire score in the $150,000 Hollywood Oaks Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park.

The 2 ½ length decision over 2-1 second choice Iotapa was the fourth in as many starts at Betfair Hollywood Park for the 3-year-old, California-bred daughter of Ministers Wild Cat and the Conquistador Cielo mare Silver Hawk Lady.

Trained by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer for owner-breeders Tom and Debi Stull’s Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, Doinghardtimeagain broke well from the inside post under jockey Rafael Bejarano, relaxed nicely through the first six furlongs with Ondine her closest pursuer, then easily repelled a bid from Iotapa approaching the stretch to win clear.

Prevailing for the first time – in only her second race – against open company, Doinghardtimeagain covered the 1 1/16 miles in the Grade II in 1:43.27. She paid $3.60, $2.20 and $2.10 as the 4-5 choice.

The victory was the fifth in nine starts for the dark bay and pushed her earnings to $573,770. Only once has she been worse than second.

Three of Doinghardtimeagain’s wins at Betfair Hollywood Park have come in stakes. Prior to Saturday, she captured the inaugural Soviet Problem last Dec. 9 and the Melair – at the Hollywood Oaks distance – April 27.

“We thought we had the best horse and so we used our speed,’’ said Hollendorfer, who also won the 2006 Oaks with Hystericalady. “When they came to us, fortunately she was able to hold them off.

“She’s doing everything on her own (in her works). 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. We’ll consider some options.’’

One of the possibilities is the $300,000, Grade II Delaware Oaks July 13 at Delaware Park. Hollendorfer won the race, which is at 1 1/16 miles, with Blind Luck in 2010, but he said it might too quick a turnaround for Doinghardtimeagain.

Bejarano, who won his first Oaks with Lethal Heat in 2008, thought Ondine might be the pacesetter, but he was happy to take over after Doinghardtimeagain broke on top.

“I just kept my position on the rail,’’ he 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, who entered 2-for-2 over Cushion Track, including a victory in the Railbird Stakes May 19, finished a half-length in front of Ondine, who was trying to provide Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert with his third Oaks success. Iotapa returned $2.40 and $2.20. Ondine’s show price was $2.80.

Ciao Bella Luna, who is also trained by Hollendorfer, and Unbridled Wee completed the order of finish.

 

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