Hollendorfer Wins Seventh Straight Bay Area Stakes

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer won his seventh consecutive Northern California stakes race Saturday at Bay Meadow when Heavenly Humor successfully defended her title in the $64,600 Soviet Problem Handicap.

Heavenly Humor, who romped to a five-length victory in the 2005 running of the Soviet Problem, had to work much harder to win Saturday's six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares.

Ridden by Russell Baze, Heavenly Humor ran down Fire Bolt in the final yards to win by a head in 1:09.27 on track rated wet-fast. Aclevershadeofjade finished third, three-quarters of a length behind Fire Bolt.

Hollendorfer won the final four stakes at Golden Gate Fields' fall season and has taken the first three stakes at Bay Meadows' holiday meet.

The 59-year-old trainer owns Heavenly Humor in partnership with Jerry Jamgotchian.

Hollendorfer said Saturday's race may have been the 5-year-old mare's swan song.

"She ran gamely," said Hollendorfer. "This is likely the last go-round for her. I'd like to race her another year, but she's so valuable as a breeding prospect that we will breed her to a nice horse. We are looking at several prospects."

In 15 career starts, the Kentucky-bred daughter of Distorted Humor  recorded seven wins, three seconds, and a third. Five of Heavenly Humor's wins came in stakes events. She earned $246,595 in her career.

Heavenly Humor paid $4 as the even-money favorite in a field of five. The payoff was probably generous considering Heavenly Humor's record at Bay Meadows. She went into the race with five wins and a second from seven starts at the Peninsula track.

(Chart, Equibase)