INGLEWOOD, Calif. (December 21, 2013)—Favored Swiss Lake Yodeler wore down 23-1 shot Rovenna in the final yards to win the $200,250 Soviet Problem Stakes Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park.
The victory in the race restricted to 2-year-old fillies bred or sired in California enabled Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer to establish an Autumn meet record.
The one-length score by the 9-10 choice was the seventh stakes success of the season for Hollendorfer, bettering the mark of six originally set by Hall of Famer Charlie Whittingham in 1984.
Owned by breeders Larry and Marianne Williams, Swiss Lake Yodeler, who was ridden by Rafael Bejarano, covered the seven furlongs over Cushion Track in 1:23.90. She paid $3.80, $3 and $2.60.
A daughter of Swiss Yodeler and the Meadowlake mare Domasco Lake, Swiss Lake Yodeler won her second in a row and for the third time in four starts. She’s earned $235,600.
In her first race since winning the Golden State Juvenile Nov. 1 at Santa Anita, Swiss Lake Yodeler, who earned her initial win against $32,000 maidens for trainer Mike Pender at the Barretts Race Meet at Fairplex Sept. 6, tracked the pace from the outside for most of the way, then surged inside the final sixteenth to win in her synthetic track debut.
“(Whittingham) has been an idol of mine from the very beginning,’’ said Hollendorfer. “When I came on the racetrack, everybody in the world knew his name.
“I’m pleased to break any kind of record he ever held. I’m very humble and grateful.
“Considering this is the end (of Hollywood Park) makes me sad, but I’ve had a lot of good luck here and won a lot races. I’m going to be sorry to see Hollywood Park go.
“I think (Swiss Lake Yodeler) wants more ground. I wasn’t sure she was going to get there, but she kicked it in late. (Bejarano) just has a magical way of getting the job done. Seven furlongs might have been a little short for her.’’
Racing with blinkers for the first time in her fifth start, Rovenna made the lead shortly after the start from her inside post while pressured by two-time stakes winner Sprouts, got the best of that one, but couldn’t contain the favorite. She paid $13.80 and $8.20.
Sprouts, who won the Cinderella Stakes June 15 during the Spring/Summer meet and CTBA July 19 at Del Mar, finished 2 ¼ lengths behind Rovenna and returned $5 to show.
Completing the order of finish were Meinertzhageni, 9-2 second choice Shysheisnot, Kukaluka, Casey’s Clem, Stole a Kiss and Feature Attraction.
Global Hottie, the 5-2 second choice on the morning line, was scratched by Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert due to a reported “elevated temperature.’’
Entering closing day, Rafael Bejarano, who shared the 2013 Spring/Summer riding title with Edwin Maldonado, has a 33-32 advantage over Joe Talamo.
If Bejarano maintains his lead, it would be the sixth riding title at Hollywood Park for the Peruvian native. Talamo is seeking his first.
Racing resumes Sunday. Post time for the final program in Hollywood Park history is 12:30 p.m. Track gates will open at 9:55 a.m. for simulcasts.
The feature attraction on the 11-race card is the second running of the $200,000 King Glorious Stakes.
Named for the Hollendorfer-trained winner of the 1988 Hollywood Futurity, the King Glorious is for 2-year-olds bred or sired in California and will be run at seven furlongs over Cushion Track. Generous Stakes runner-up Aotearoa is the 5-2 morning line favorite.
One hour (11:30 a.m.) before post time, Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg will sign copies of his book “Jack: From Grit to Glory’’ at the Betfair Hollywood Park Gift Shop.
Commemorative pins honoring the Sunset Handicap will also be given away – one per paid admission while supplies last – on closing day.
There will also be drawings for gift cards and other special prizes throughout the day.
A pair of $50,000 starter allowance races – the Valley Lass and Auld Lang Syne – are included in the program. The former goes as the third race while the latter is the 11th, climaxing 75 years of history and memories at the facility known as the Home of Champions and the Track of the Lakes and Flowers.
The Valley Lass, which is for fillies and mares at one mile on turf, honors the first horse to win at Hollywood Park. A 2-year-old California bred filly, Valley Lass took the opener June 10, 1938 under jockey Silvio Coucci.
The Auld Lang Syne is for older horses at 1 1/16 miles on turf.
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