For Wildenstein Stable's favored Rolly Polly and jockey Patrick Valenzuela, the last stride of the $114,100 Senator Ken Maddy Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Santa Anita Saturday was the best one.
That final head bob allowed Rolly Polly to nose out I'm The Business and capture hillside turf course stake for fillies and mares at about 6 1/2 furlongs.
Rolly Polly, a 4-year-old Irish-bred daughter of Mukaddamah trained by Bobby Frankel, won for the ninth time in 16 starts and earned $68,460. Her career bankroll stands at $403,764. The winning time on a firm turf course was 1:12.86 under high weight of 119 pounds. Rolly Polly, who is now undefeated in three tries on the unique Santa Anita course, paid $5.40 to win.
"Man, it's great to be able to ride these nice horses of Bobby Frankel, and she's another one of his good ones," Valenzuela said. "My plan was to let her relax and finish strong, and that's exactly what she did. When I asked her in the stretch, she really took off. But when I'm The Business shot through and made the lead on us, (Rolly Polly) saw her and took off again."
Humberto Ascanio, assistant to Frankel, saddled Rolly Polly. "It's nice to find the winner's circle," Ascanio said. "We've been cold for a while. Things go in streaks. We got lucky today, but she was training well."
Southern House, a 37-1 longshot ridden by Matt Garcia, set fractions of :21.48, :43.71 and 1:06.90 before the late runners began their rallies. I'm The Business, a diminutive New Zealand-bred ridden by Corey Nakatani, took command between horses in deep stretch and looked like a winner before Rolly Polly caught her at the wire.
Nanogram, ridden by Victor Espinoza, finished third, one length in front of Adoration, who rallied from ninth in the field of 12 fillies and mares to take the lead into the stretch.