By Mike Willman —-
COMBACKING UNIQUE BELLA LOOMS COMPLETE STANDOUT IN SUNDAY’S GRADE III, $100,000 LA WOMAN STAKES AT 6 ½ FURLONGS
HOLLENDORFER’S NEARLY PERFECT MULTIPLE GRADED STAKES WINNER AWAY SINCE MARCH 4
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 5, 2017)—Idle since March 4, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer’s multiple graded stakes winning Unique Bella returns to action Sunday at Santa Anita as she towers over six rivals in the Grade III, $100,000 LA Woman Stakes, for fillies and mares three and up at 6 ½ furlongs.
A three-time graded stakes winner and unbeaten in four starts since running second in her debut, Unique Bella has been heavily favored in four out of her five starts. A 3-year-old Pennsylvania-bred daughter of Tapit, she’s owned by Don Alberto Stable and will tackling older distaffers for the first time.
UNIQUE BELLA: With five consecutive bullet works on her Santa Anita tab, including a five furlong drill on Sept. 14 in 58.20 (best of 24) and a six furlong move Sept. 27 in 1:11.60 (best of 10), there’s little doubt this gray filly is ready to fire as Hollendorfer points to the Grade I, $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint on Nov. 4. After breaking her maiden by 10 ¼ lengths going 6 ½ furlongs on Nov. 26, Unique Bella then stamped herself a rising star as she took the Grade II, seven furlong Santa Ynez by 7 ½ lengths on Jan. 8; the Grade II, one mile Las Virgenes by 8 ¾ lengths on Feb. 5 and the Grade III, 1 1/16 miles Santa Ysabel by 2 ¼ lengths here on March 4. Sidelined thereafter by what Hollendorfer described as a shin issue, she now looms the horse to beat in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint should things go according to plan here on Saturday. With four wins and a second from five starts, she has earnings of $342,400.
THE GRADE III LA WOMAN STAKES IN POST POSITION ORDER WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS
Race 5 of 9 Approximate post time 2:30 p.m. PT
Sturdy One—Norberto Arroyo, Jr.—122
Cuddle Alert—Edwin Maldonado—122
Bad Ju Ju—Drayden Van Dyke—122
Princess Karen—Kent Desormeaux—119
Unique Bella—Mike Smith—121
Dis Smart Cat—Gary Stevens—122
Lunar Empress—Flavien Prat–122
First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday is at 12:30 a.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m. For additional racing information, please visit santaanita.com.
Santa Anita Park is a Stronach Group company, North America’s leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida, and is one of North America’s top race horse breeders through its award-winning Adena Springs operation. The Stronach Group is one of the world’s largest suppliers of pari-mutuel wagering systems, technologies and services. Its companies include AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology; Xpressbet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service; and Monarch Content Management, which acts as a simulcast purchase and sales agent of horseracing content for numerous North American racetracks and wagering outlets. The Stronach Group is North America’s premier supplier of virtual online horseracing games, as well as a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry.