ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 9, 2014)–Nine-time stakes winner Halo Dolly heads a field of seven older fillies and mares in the $75,000, 1 1/16 miles Paseana Stakes Sunday at Santa Anita as she aims to transfer her sharp recent turf form to the main track.
Trained and owned in-part by Jerry Hollendorfer, Halo Dolly, a 6-year-old California-bred mare by the Saint Ballado stallion Popular, comes off an impressive classified allowance win going one mile on turf at Golden Gate Nov. 17 and will be trying the dirt for only the fourth time in her 36th career start Sunday.
A winner of two of her previous three dirt tries, Halo Dolly has raced exclusively on turf in her last eight starts and was last seen on natural dirt 17 starts back, when she won the 1 1/16 miles Alameda County Stakes at Pleasanton on June 30, 2012.
An amazing success story and testimonial to Hollendorfer’s conditioning approach, she has amassed $910,256 in earnings from an overall record of 35-17-5-4. In addition to Hollendorfer, she is owned by Dan and Yolanda Hoefflin, Michael O’Farrell, Charlie Robin, George Todaro, Joe Schneider and Brett Tahajian.
Ridden by Russell Baze in her last two starts, Halo Dolly will be handled by Rafael Bejarano, who has guided her to two of her added money victories.
A winner of the Grade III, 1 1/16 miles Turn Back the Alarm Handicap Oct. 26 at Belmont Park, Stanwyck, a half sister to 2005 Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo, enters the Paseana fresh and ready for trainer John Shirreffs and owner/breeders Jerry and Ann Moss.
A 5-year-old mare by Empire Maker, Stanwyk figures to employ a stalking style when ridden for the first time by Victor Espinoza. Stanwyk has three wins, a second and a third place finish from 10 starts and earnings of $222,650.
A well beaten third in the Grade II Bayakoa Stakes Dec. 7, Warren’s Veneda pressed the pace and won the statebred Cat’s Cradle Handicap going 7 ½ furlongs two starts back and should be forwardly placed Sunday under regular pilot Joe Talamo.
A 4-year-old filly owned and bred in California by Ben Warren, Warren’s Veneda is trained by Craig Lewis and has $300,064 in earnings from an overall mark of 11-5-1-3.
Claimed for $40,000 three starts back on Oct. 17, the Pete Miller-trained Golden Production is in search of her fourth consecutive win as she tries two turns for the first time since Nov. 23, 2012. Ridden by Talamo in all 10 of her lifetime starts, she’ll be handled for the first time by Martin Pedroza and should be on the early Paseana lead or close to it.
Owned by Myron Miller, the 5-year-old Pennsylvania-bred Golden Production is 10-4-4-1, with earnings of $161,340.
Mercedes Stable’s Rock and Glory got away with an opening quarter mile of 24 flat in a second condition allowance at a mile and a sixteenth Nov. 16, and went on to an impressive 6 ¾ length gate to wire score for trainer Tim Yakteen and jockey Martin Garcia.
Lightly raced, the 6-year-old mare by Rockport Harbor has gone gate to wire in all three of her lifetime wins. Bred in Kentucky by her owner, Rock and Glory will be making her 10th career start in the Paseana.
A Group I winner in her native Argentina on June 29, 2013, the Ron McAnally-trained Miss Serendipity has been idle since and will make her U.S. debut in the Paseana. With five wins, five seconds and two thirds from 19 starts, Miss Serendipity brings solid credentials to the party and gets the services of Gary Stevens. She is owned by her breeder, Anselmo E. Cavalieri.
Trainer Danny Velasquez will send out longshot Irish Presence, who was second, beaten 6 ¾ lengths, by Rock and Glory Nov. 16. Two starts back, the 4-year-old Midnight Lute filly was second, beaten a neck, going 1 1/16 miles in a first condition allowance at Santa Anita Oct. 13. She’s owned by Michael Lofino, Sr. and Anthony Zankich.
The complete field for the Paseana Stakes, to be run as the seventh race on a nine-race program Sunday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Halo Dolly, Rafael Bejarano, 123; Miss Serendipity, Gary Stevens, 118; Irish Presence, Tyler Baze, 118; Golden Production, Martin Pedroza, 118; Warren’s Veneda, Joe Talamo, 120; Stanwyk, Victor Espinoza, 123, and Rock and Glory, Martin Garcia, 120.
First post time on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m.