Race of the Week 2017

Baffert Seeks Another Hollywood Oaks Win

Bob Baffert

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who won the Hollywood Oaks with Santa Catarina in 2003 and Tough Tiz’s Sis in 2007, will send out recent maiden winner Ondine as he seeks another victory when the Grade II is run for the 68th time Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park.

Contested at 1 1/16 miles over Cushion Track, the Oaks, which is for 3-year-old fillies, is the third of nine races Saturday. Post time is 1 p.m. Track gates will open at 9:55 a.m. for simulcasts.

Ondine provided jockey Rafael Bejarano with the 3,000th win of his career when she dominated four opponents in a $54,000 allowance May 11.

A daughter of Medaglia d’Oro and the Forest Wildcat mare Arrow in Flight, Ondine has two wins in five starts and earnings of $100,600 for Peachtree Stable. The Florida bred has yet to finish worse than second.

Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who won the 2006 Oaks with Hystericalady, will saddle the sharp California bred Doinghardtimeagain and Ciao Bella Luna.

Bred by owners Tom and Debi Stull’s Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, the Ministers Wild Cat filly out of the Conquistador Cielo mare Silver Hawk Lady has won two in a row.

Her latest victory came in the $245,000 Melair Stakes April 27, leaving her undefeated in three races over Cushion Track. She defeated maidens last Nov. 9 and won the $196,000 Soviet Problem Dec. 9 in her two prior local appearances.

A winner of three of four races over synthetic surfaces, Doinghardtimeagain is 4-for-8 with earnings of $483,770.

Ciao Bella Luna will try more ground after finishing second in the Railbird Stakes May 19 in her Betfair Hollywood Park debut.

Owned by a partnership that includes breeders Dennis and Carol Yokum, Gillian Campbell and Greenwood Lodge Farm, Inc., the Tribal Rule filly out of the Conquistador Cielo mare Shadow of the Moon has won three of seven and earned $159,610.

She is winless in two races beyond seven furlongs. Ciao Bella Luna’s lone stakes victory came in the Grade II Beaumont April 14 over the Polytrack at Keeneland.

Trainer John Sadler will try to win the Hollywood Oaks for a third time in four years when he sends out Iotapa.

Owned by Hronis Racing LLC, the Afleet Alex filly out of the El Corredor mare Concinnous will stretch out again after winning the Railbird Stakes May 19.

Claimed for $50,000 by her current connections out of a debut win over Cushion Track last June 21, Iotapa has won three of four and banked $155,490. In her only defeat, the dark bay was second behind Beholder in the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks April 6.

Sadler’s Oaks wins were provided by Switch, who knocked off Blind Luck in 2010 and Zazu, who defeated the Baffert-trained Plum Pretty in 2011.

Completing the field is Unbridled Wee, who broke her maiden by a half-length in her Cushion Track debut May 24.

Owned by Holy Cow Stable LLC and trained by Peter Eurton, the Holy Bull filly out of the Grindstone mare Dixiechickadee is 1-for-4 with earnings of $45,000.

From inside out, the field for the Hollywood Oaks: Doinghardtimeagain, Rafael Bejarano rides, 119 pounds; Ciao Bella Luna, Corey Nakatani, 113; Iotapa, Joe Talamo, 113; Unbridled Wee, Gary Stevens, 113 and Ondine, Martin Garcia, 115.


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