INGLEWOOD, Calif. (May 16, 2013)—Ciao Bella Luna, the upset winner of the Grade II Beaumont Stakes April 14 at Keeneland, will make her Betfair Hollywood Park debut against five other 3-year-old fillies in the $70,000 Railbird Stakes Sunday.
Scheduled for seven furlongs over Cushion Track, the Railbird is the eighth of nine races. Post time Sunday is 1 p.m. Track gates will open at 9:55 a.m. for simulcasts.
Trained by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer for a partnership that includes breeders Dennis and Carol Yokum’s Car-Den Racing Stable and Greenwood Lodge Farm, Ciao Bella Luna won the Beaumont by 2 ½ lengths at 7-1, rallying from off the pace for her first graded victory.
A daughter of Tribal Rule and the Conquistador Cielo mare Shadow of the Moon, Ciao Bella Luna has won three of six and earned $145,180. She has three wins and a second in four races over synthetic surfaces. She won twice over Tapeta at Golden Gate Fields prior to her win on Keeneland’s Polytrack.
Hollendorfer, who won the Railbird with Via Villaggio in 2012, will try to become only the second trainer to win the race in consecutive years. James Wallace won for owner-breeder Old English Rancho with Fleet Treat in 1966 and Forgiving in 1967.
Hail Mary will try for her second stakes win of the Spring/Summer meet for owner-breeder Nick Alexander and trainer Mike Mitchell.
The Old Topper filly out of the General Meeting mare Lady Sax dominated fellow California breds by 9 ¾ lengths in the Warren’s Thoroughbreds April 27 on the California Gold Rush program.
The win was the second in four starts for Hail Mary and pushed her earnings to $120,560.
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert and owner Kaleem Shah, who won the 2011 Railbird with May Day Rose, will try for another victory with Tres Belle.
A War Front filly out of the Awesome Again mare Europe Again, Tres Belle defeated maidens by 1 ½ lengths in her debut March 29 at Santa Anita. The victory was worth $33,600 to Tres Belle, who was purchased for $340,000 at the Keeneland September sale in 2011.
Iotapa cuts back in distance after chasing Beholder, the 2012 2-year-old filly champion, in the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks April 6.
Trained by John Sadler for Hronis Racing LLC, Iotapa has won two of three. The daughter of Afleet Alex out of the El Corredor mare Concinnous has banked $112,200. She was claimed for $50,000 by her current connections out of a debut victory last June 21 at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Like Ciao Bella Luna, Irish Presence made her last start in the Beaumont. The Midnight Lute filly finished sixth at 19-1, ending a two race win streak for owners Anthony Zankich and Michael Lofino, Sr. and trainer Eoin Harty.
Irish Presence, who collected the two wins at Golden Gate, has started eight times and earned $42,050.
Think Sunshine will make her Southern California debut for owner Ten Broeck Farm, Inc. and trainer Tim McCanna after winning once in two starts at Golden Gate. The Broken Vow filly out of the Foxhound mare Beautiful Stranger has earned $19,680. She broke her maiden by 5 ½ lengths in her debut at 5 ½ furlongs March 30, then was third of six in a one mile turf affair April 18.
From inside out, the field for the Railbird Stakes: Irish Presence, Corey Nakatani rides, 117 pounds; Ciao Bella Luna, Rafael Bejarano, 123; Hail Mary, Julien Leparoux, 121; Tres Belle, Martin Garcia, 115; Iotapa, Joe Talamo, 117 and Think Sunshine, Tyler Baze, 115.
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