Gary Zwerling’s 5-year-old mare La Dolce Vita closed strongly to win the $126,750 Hollywood Wildcat Breeders’ Cup Handicap for fillies and mares on the turf at Calder Race Course on Saturday.
La Dolce Vita, with jockey Javier Castellano aboard, defeated Potra Clasica by one length. It was a nose back to the pacesetting Silversider in third.
Mark Hennig trains La Dolce Vita, who has now won six races on turf. She came from well off the pace in the 1 1/16-mile contest to get the distance in 1:40.76, just off the stakes record of 1:40.73 set in 2005 by Wend.
La Dolce Vita paid $10.80, $4.80 and $3.60. Potra Clasica, winner of this race in 2006, returned $3.40 and $2.80, while Silversider paid $7.40 to show.
La Dolce Vita's sixth win in 20 starts was worth $90,000 and increased her earnings to $246,686. She ran third in 12-furlong Orchid Handicap (gr. IIIT), 2 1/2 lengths behind Safari Queen, in her most recent start March 31 at Gulfstream Park.
“Coming off the marathon mile-and-a-half in the Orchid, we thought she’d need a lively pace up front and she got it," said Hennig. "This breaks her maiden outside of Gulfstream, too (all five career wins there). It also rewards the owner for his commitment to race her this year rather than breed her. We’ll get her up north now where there are plenty of opportunities all over, and she can go any distance.”
Meribel, the slight 19-10 favorite over Potra Clasica, finished a close fourth, with Somethinaboutbetty, Jinni and Wild Blonde trailing.