08/31/2013 1:37PM

Del Mar: Halo Dolly heads into Yellow Ribbon running too well to retire

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Benoit & Associates
The 5-year-old mare Halo Dolly will seek her 10th career stakes victory in the Yellow Ribbon, a race she won last year.

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DEL MAR, Calif. – Halo Dolly, a nine-time stakes winner, has become such a fixture in trainer Jerry Hollendorfer’s stable that he is having second thoughts of sending her to a sale in Kentucky this fall.

Hollendorfer said he thinks Halo Dolly can add to her accomplished record in races such as Monday’s $150,000 Yellow Ribbon Stakes at Del Mar – and into next year.

“I have her nominated to the fall sale,” he said of the November event at Keeneland.

“She’s very sound and I was thinking of running her another year. I’d probably get more enjoyment of running her than selling her.”

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Co-owned by Hollendorfer in a partnership, Halo Dolly has won 16 of 32 starts and $861,736. She is the defending champion of the Grade 2 Yellow Ribbon Stakes for fillies and mares over 1 1/16 miles on turf. The 2012 Yellow Ribbon was Halo Dolly’s sixth career stakes win.

A 5-year-old mare by Popular, Halo Dolly is a stakes winner at this meeting, having won the Solana Beach Handicap for Cal-breds over a mile on turf on Aug. 18.

“She likes this track,” Hollendorfer said. “It’s nice to have a horse like that in the barn.”

Halo Dolly will be ridden by Rafael Bejarano, who is well on his way to his third career riding title at Del Mar this summer. Halo Dolly carries high weight of 123 pounds and is part of a field of 10.

There are three other 2013 stakes winners in the field – Closing Range, who won the restricted Osunitas Stakes here July 20; Customer Base, who won the Lucie Manet Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park on July 5; and A Jealous Woman, who won the Megahertz Stakes at Santa Anita in January.

Closing Range made her California debut when she won the Osunitas in a 16-1 upset. Trainer Philip Oliver sent her back to Keeneland to train in August. Closing Range was scheduled to return to Del Mar late Saturday.

Oliver said he wanted to keep Closing Range in a quieter training environment at Keeneland.

“I’m not sure she could have handled the crowded track at Del Mar,” Oliver said.

The presence of A Jealous Woman and Egg Drop, who was second in the Grade 2 Royal Heroine Stakes at Hollywood Park on July 6, should ensure a quick pace to help Closing Range.

“It looks like there are a couple of decent speed horses in there,” Oliver said. “I think we’ll get a legitimate pace. If she shows up, she’ll have a decent shot.”

My Gi Gi has not won since the Grade 2 Honeymoon Handicap at Hollywood Park in June 2012. Trained by Peter Eurton, My Gi Gi was third in the Grade 2 John Mabee Stakes on Aug. 11.

Eurton is hoping that My Gi Gi’s nerves do not get the better of her in paddock.

“Physically, she looks well,” he said. “She’s put on some weight since the last race, about 20 pounds. She so hard on herself in the paddock. She doesn’t like it in there, and there’s not much I can do about it.”

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Halo doly, never loses at Del Mar. End of conversation!
Nick Tamborrino More than 1 year ago
Egg Drop doesn't have the speed of A Jealous Woman