Grade II winner Halo Dolly looks for her first victory of the year while carrying top weight of 120 pounds in the $100,000 Wilshire Handicap (gr. IIIT) April 28, the first graded stakes of the Betfair Hollywood Park meet.
Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, who owns a piece of the 5-year-old mare as part of a large partnership, Halo Dolly drew the far outside post in a field of eight fillies and mares going one mile on the turf. The Wilshire is the eighth race on the Sunday program with a 4:35 p.m. scheduled post.
A California-bred daughter of Popular out of the unraced Comic Strip mare Spanish Halo, Halo Dolly won her only prior try over the Hollywood lawn, taking last May's Fran's Valentine Stakes. Her 2012 campaign was highlighted by a victory in the Yellow Ribbon Handicap (gr. IIT) last September at Del Mar, part of a season in which she won seven of 12 races.
MOST WINS BY A HORSE: Gamely 2.
MOST WINS BY A JOCKEY: Chris McCarron 6. Active – Gary Stevens 4, Kent Desormeaux 4.
MOST WINS BY A TRAINER: Bobby Frankel 4. Ben Cecil 3, Richard Mandella 3.
FASTEST TIME: Heavenly Ransom (2006), 1:33.14.
FACTOIDS: Gamely’s two wins (1968-1969) were at the 7 furlong distance and she as times in 1:21 flat for both winning efforts on dirt.
Compiled by Gary Dougherty
Halo Dolly, who brings a career mark of 14-4-3 in 28 outings with earnings of $692,786, comes off a third-place finish as the heavy favorite in the 1 1/6-mile Golden Poppy Stakes April 7 on the Golden Gate Fields turf. She finished sixth in her seasonal debut Jan. 26 in the Valentine Dancer Stakes at Santa Anita Park, which she followed with a second March 17 in a Golden Gate allowance. She has dropped her past four starts.
Rafael Bejarano takes the call on Halo Dolly.
Hollendorfer also entered Esentepe. A 4-year-old Irish-bred filly by Oratorio, she is coming off a runner-up finish, beaten by a nose, in a high-priced allowance over one mile at Santa Anita Park March 29. It was her second United States start and followed a third-place finish in an allowance on the hillside turf course at about 6 1/2 furlongs two weeks earlier.
Owned by William de Burgh, the bay filly previously raced in England and Ireland where she won two of 16 starts with nine placings. Corey Nakatani retains the mount.
Purim's Dancer, who has won four of five over turf, comes off a third-pace finisher on the Santa Anita hillside in the Las Cienegas Stakes (gr. IIIT) April 13 for trainer Tom Proctor. The 4-year-old Purim filly makes her first start going longer than 6 1/2 furlongs for an ownership group that includes Doug Donnelly, Corey Johnsen, Lenny Kohn, and Gene McLean. Tyler Baze guides the dark bay filly from the rail.
Trainer John Sadler will send out both Byrony and Moone's My Name, who race as separate betting interests for owners Batchelor Family Trust and Judi Partridge.
Byrony has earned both of her wins in the U.S. over the local turf. The Irish-bred 5-year-old daughter of Byron won consecutive allowance events in her first two starts in this country during the 2012 spring/summer meet. Since then she has lost eight in a row, but has hit the board in five of those defeats.
Great Britain-bred Moone's My Name was beaten by a neck by stablemate I Dazzle in the one mile American Beauty Stakes April 7 at Santa Anita in her initial race in the U.S. A gray daughter of Intikhab, her last win came at the Wilshire distance in a handicap at Newmarket Oct. 6.
Trainer Simon Callaghan, who won the 2011 Wilshire with Dubawi Heights, will send out Nobilis for owner Michael Tabor. An English-bred daughter of Rock of Gibraltar, the 4-year-old finished second behind The Only Key in an optional claimer April 5 at Santa Anita in her U.S. debut.
$100,000 Wilshire Handicap (gr. IIIT, Race 8, 4:35 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 Mile (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Purim's Dancer (KY), T Baze, 116, T F Proctor
2. Nobilis (GB), V Espinoza, 114, S Callaghan
3. Long Face (KY), J R Leparoux, 114, P L Biancone
4. Moone's My Name (GB), J Talamo, 117, J W Sadler
5. Esentepe (IRE), C S Nakatani, 114, J Hollendorfer
6. Byrony (IRE), D R Flores, 115, J W Sadler
7. Little Emily (KY), E A Maldonado, 114, R W Leonard
8. Halo Dolly (CA), R Bejarano, 120, J Hollendorfer
Blinkers Off: Little Emily