01/22/2015 1:15PM

California Cup Oaks goes through Hollendorfer pair

Benoit & Associates
Heat the Rocks (above) and Light One give Jerry Hollendorfer a one-two punch in the California Cup Oaks on Saturday.

He trains them. He owns them. And, sometimes, he even breeds them. Jerry Hollendorfer is a triple threat, best exemplified by Heat the Rocks, one of two fillies he will send out Saturday in the $200,000 California Cup Oaks at Santa Anita.

The Cal Cup Oaks, at one mile on turf, drew a field of eight 3-year-old fillies, with half the runners attempting turf for the first time. Included in that quartet is Hollendorfer’s duo of Heat the Rocks and Light One, both of whom figure to be strongly backed in the wagering.

By Unusual Heat, Heat the Rocks comes off a second-place finish in the one-mile Soviet Problem for statebreds at Los Alamitos, her first start beyond a sprint. Hollendorfer, who bred Heat the Rocks in a partnership, said her pedigree is a reason he wants to try her on turf.

DRF FORMULATOR FACT: No. 4 Heat the Rocks. Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer is 25-2-4-4 with a $0.65 ROI over the past five years with horses trying turf for the first time in routes following a layoff of 45 days or more. Click for more details. Mike Hogan

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“We think with the Unusual Heat angle, she’s supposed to like the turf, so we thought we’d have a go,” Hollendorfer said.

Hollendorfer takes an ownership share in many of the horses he trains, but he’s rarely involved in breeding runners.

“Not a lot, but there is occasion where we do breed some,” he said. “We dabble in it, but we’re not trying to make a profession out of it.”

Light One was privately purchased after a second-place finish in her debut. In her lone start since for Hollendorfer, she defeated maidens. Both those races were sprints on the Tapeta surface at Golden Gate Fields, so this will be her first start around two turns and on turf.

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Heat the Rocks (Last 3 Beyers: 59-71-70)

◗ Her Beyer Figures had been steadily improving until her last start, which was her first try around two turns.

◗ Heat the Rocks worked on turf at Santa Anita on Jan. 15, going five furlongs in 1:02.40. “I thought she worked decently,” Hollendorfer said.

Light One (Beyers: 67-69)

◗ Though she will be trying turf and two turns for the first time, her pedigree – she is by Comic Strip – suggests she’ll like it, and good form on synthetics often translates into good form on turf.

◗ Both her races were against open company, so even though she’s stepping up in class to run in a stakes race, she does benefit by moving into a race restricted to statebreds.

◗ The likely race shape should benefit her late-running style, provided she’s more than a late-running sprinter.

Sheer Pleasure (Beyer: 69)

◗ She was an impressive winner of her lone start, coasting home by 6 1/2 lengths in a sprint at Los Alamitos.

◗ Her trainer, Phil D’Amato, has a great return on investment ($4.15) with stretch-out plays.

◗ She could be the one to catch.

DRF FORMULATOR FACT: No. 5 Sheer Pleasure. Trainer Phil D’Amato is 23-5-2-1 with a $5.84 ROI over the past two years going sprint to route on turf. Click for more details. Mike Hogan

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Patsy G and Me (Beyers: 55-55)

◗ As with Sheer Pleasure, she comes off a sprint win against maidens at Los Alamitos.

◗ Considering her running style and rail draw, she figures to contribute to a lively early pace.

◗ She is trying turf for the first time, but like Heat the Rocks is a daughter of Unusual Heat, so the surface switch should be beneficial.