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IRISH-BRED HIJRA SCORES IMPRESSIVE $58,000 ALLOWANCE WIN IN SECOND U.S. START, HOLLENDORFER TRAINEE RIDDEN BY NAKATANI TO 1 ½ LENGTH WIN
TWO-DAY PICK SIX CARRYOVER FUELS $1.8 MILLION IN ‘NEW MONEY,’ TOTAL POOL EXCEEDS $2.2 MILLION; 16 WINNING TICKETS RETURN $85,734 EACH
ARCADIA, Calif. (May 30, 2014)—A close third going 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course in her U.S. debut April 25, Irish-bred Hijra stretched out in style for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer on Friday, winning Santa Anita’s featured $58,000 allowance by 1 ½ lengths while covering 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:47.88 under Corey Nakatani.
A close third, three from the fence around the Club House turn, Hijra was a joint second, one length off the lead turning down the backside and pounced on longshot pacesetter Backintheacademy at the top of the lane, at which time the result was a “fait accompli.” The 9-5 favorite in a field of eight fillies and mares, Hijra paid $5.60, $3.60 and $2.80.
“I didn’t think we’d be three-wide early, but Corey was confident,” said Hollendorfer. “She’s a runner, that’s for sure. This (race) was perfect today. The added distance and the timing. We’ll wait and see what we’re going to do next. If we get the right kind of allowance race, we’ll probably run there.”
A 4-year-old filly by the Danehill stallion Oratorio, Hijra had one win from five starts in France, where she last ran on Nov. 28. Owned by Campbell, Clark or Skoda, Hijra improved her overall record to 7-2-1-3. With the winner’s share of $34,800, she increased her earnings to $72,667.
“She’s got more than a little talent,” said Nakatani, who took over from an injured Rafael Bejarano. “Jerry’s got himself a nice filly there.”
Ridden by Brice Blanc, longshot Marcyjane rallied from off the pace to finish second, three quarters of a length in front of third choice Winning Rhythm.
Off at 14-1, Marcyjane paid $9.60 and $5.40.
Off at 7-2, Winning Rhythm kept to her task late under Mike Smith and finished a length in front of Hey Pretty Girl. Winning Rhythm paid $3.20 to show.
With a two-day Pick Six carryover from Monday of $407,076 to shoot at, punters wagered $1,805,800 in “new money,” resulting in a total Friday Pick Six pool of $2,212,876. There were 16 winning tickets, each worth $85,734. There were 790 tickets with five winners, each paying $523.80.
First post time on Saturday at Santa Anita is at 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m.