04/29/2010 11:00PM

City to City going for three in a row


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - There are more Oaks opportunities ahead for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, whose spring focus has been on main-track road warrior Blind Luck.

Back home in California, Hollendorfer-trained City to City has emerged as the top 3-year-old turf filly out West. No fanfare. Blind Luck casts a big shadow. But if City to City wins the Grade 3 Senorita Stakes on Sunday at Hollywood, everything changes.

City to City was a mere allowance filly until switching surfaces. Now 3 for 3 in turf routes, City to City's timing is perfect. The remaining Grade 1's for California 3-year-old fillies this year are on grass - the American Oaks July 3 at Hollywood and the Del Mar Oaks on Aug. 21.

It is not too soon to plan ahead. City to City faces a good field Sunday, including stretch-out sprinter Elusive Galaxy, consistent Andina, and Group 3-placed import Hasty. But the class City to City showed winning the Grade 2 Providencia last out hints she is any kind.

"She had quite a bit of trouble out of the gate, that's why she was so far back," assistant trainer Dan Ward said. "Horses don't go that wide and win."

In the Providencia, City to City was shuffled back to eighth after the break. Not good for a filly that normally presses the pace. No problem. Joel Rosario cut her loose on the far turn, swung her five wide into the lane, she uncorked a burst of speed, and won by a half-length.

It turns out her victory two races back in the China Doll was not a fluke. In that race, she benefitted from slow fractions and trouble behind her. In the Providencia, City to City was compromised by trouble and still won the race.

City to City has won 5 of 11 and is a deserving favorite in the first of three Hollywood grass stakes for 3-year-old fillies. The Grade 2 Honeymoon Handicap is next on May 31. She carries top weight of 121 pounds.

Elusive Galaxy is racing into shape. Third in her comeback, she finished second last out in a fast allowance sprint while more than five clear of third. Ben Cecil trains Elusive Galaxy and closer Andina.

Andina finished third and second her last two starts against City to City. On form, she is a cut below the favorite. Cozi Rosie had trouble last time; Hasty makes her first U.S. start for Jim Cassidy, who also trains allowance winner I'mneverwrong.