INGLEWOOD, Calif. (May 20, 2012)—Halo Dolly was successful in her return to turf, wiring four opponents in the $71,750 Fran’s Valentine Stakes (video) Sunday at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Owned by a partnership that includes Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, the 4-year-old Popular filly shook off 7-10 favorite Sugarinthemorning after six furlongs and went on to a 2 ½ length victory in a race restricted to California bred fillies and mares.
The win was the fifth in seven starts on grass for Halo Dolly, the 122-pound highweight and 17-10 second choice. Now 10-for-18 lifetime, the dark bay, who is out of the Comic Strip mare Spanish Halo, increased her earnings to $361,780. She completed the mile in 1:34.82.
Halo Dolly was a pickup mount for Joe Talamo. Joel Rosario was scheduled to ride the Fran’s Valentine winner, but the native Dominican left Sunday to return to his homeland after the death of his brother Marino.
The stakes win was the second of the weekend for Talamo, who had won the Grade II Marjorie L. Everett Handicap Saturday aboard favored Include Me Out.
“She relaxed so well for me today,’’ said Talamo. “I had a ton of horse down the backside. I was a little worried when Sugarinthemorning headed me at the three-eighths, but I knew I had a lot left in the tank.
“I want to thank the owners and Mr. Hollendorfer for putting me on her because I knew a lot of other jockeys wanted to ride.’’
Halo Dolly, who had been favored in her previous five starts, paid $5.40, $2.60 and $2.20.
Sugarinthemorning, who was making her first start around two turns on turf, paid $2.20 and $2.10. She would up 1 ¾ lengths clear of Camille C, then came Secret Cove and Platinum Mine. The show price on Camille C was $2.40.
The stakes win was also the second in two days for the Hollendorfer barn. The stable had won the Grade III Railbird Saturday with 10-1 shot Via Villaggio.
Assistant trainer Dan Ward indicated Halo Dolly could surface next in the Grade II, $150,000 Royal Heroine Mile July 7.
Although he had to settle for third in the Fran’s Valentine, jockey Rafael Bejarano did win four times Sunday. He tops the standings with 20 victories, three more than Talamo, after 16 days of the Spring/Summer meet.
Three of Bejarano’s wins came in succession – Tilde in the second, Warren’s Goldie in the third and Mandated Bliss in the fourth – before he capped his quadruple with Byrony – a filly Rosario was scheduled to ride – in the sixth.
Racing resumes Thursday. Post time is 1 p.m.
The Hollywood Park Casino will be open for dark day simulcasts Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Admission is free and simulcasts begin at 10:10 a.m.
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