Unique Bella works a bullet six furlongs at Santa Anita Park

Unique Bella works a bullet six furlongs at Santa Anita Park

Zoe Metz

Unique Bella Sidelined Due to Shin Issue

Multiple graded stakes winner to miss at least 60 days.

Unique Bella, considered a leading contender for this year's Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1), has been sidelined with a shin issue.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer confirmed the injury March 28, and said Don Alberto Stable's multiple graded stakes winner will miss "60 days for sure." 

This marks the second consecutive year Hollendorfer has had a top Kentucky Oaks contender sidelined before the race, following champion Songbird's defection due to a fever in 2016 after her victory in the Santa Anita Oaks (G1). 

Unique Bella ranked second on the Kentucky Oaks Leaderboard with 70 points. In February she was made the even-money favorite in the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager.

"We haven't made an exact plan yet as to where she's going to be laid up," Hollendorfer said of the Tapit  filly, who won four straight starts with remarkable ease, including her three sophomore season targets—the Santa Ynez Stakes (G2), Las Virgenes Stakes (G2), and Santa Ysabel Stakes (G3) last out March 4. Those races demonstrated a steady increase in distance, from the seven furlongs of the Santa Ynez to the one-mile Las Virgenes, capped by the 1 1/16-mile Santa Ysabel.

Unique Bella last worked March 19, a bullet six furlongs in 1:11 1/5. Her earnings sit at $342,400. Bred in Pennsylvania by Brushwood Stable out of the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (G1)-winning Unbridled's Song mare Unrivaled Belle, she was a $400,000 purchase from Eaton Sales' consignment to the 2015 Keeneland September yearling sale.