07/21/2011 1:50PM

Del Mar: Lilly Fa Pootz, City to City give Hollendorfer pair of aces for Osunitas

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Benoit & Associates
Lilly Fa Pootz, one of two entrants for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, will attempt towin the Osunitas for the second straight year.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Both City to City and Lilly Fa Pootz had productive seasons last summer at Del Mar, so when it came time to scheduling their 2011 campaigns, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer had his sights set on this meet for them.

On Saturday, both will start in the $85,000 Osunitas Handicap, a supporting feature on a card headed by the Grade 1 Eddie Read. The Osunitas, at 1 1/16 miles on turf for older fillies and mares, drew a strong field of 10, certainly the quality of a graded stakes race. Lilly Fa Pootz, though, is the defending winner of the race.

“She likes it here, so we wanted to run in this race,” Hollendorfer said at his Del Mar barn on Thursday morning.

After winning last year’s Osunitas, Lilly Fa Pootz lost a heartbreaker to Wasted Tears in the John Mabee, then was a close third in the Palomar. She has lost 10 straight though, so Hollendorfer waited for Del Mar after a race at Hollywood Park seven weeks ago.
City to City, second in last year’s San Clemente here, is making her third start since a 9 1/2-month layoff.

“She just got beat in her last race. She had two preps to come back at Del Mar. She likes it here, too,” Hollendorfer said.
Andina and Turning Top, both of whom have been facing far tougher company of late, are among the leading contenders in the Osunitas. Andina was third to Celtic Princess and Harmonious in the Royal Heroine Mile last time out, while Turning Top raced in graded stakes in her eight prior starts.

Middle Club, a British import making her United States debut for trainer John Shirreffs, has not raced since November, but had decent Group stakes form overseas.

“She’s trained well, but she hasn’t run in a long time,” Shirreffs said. “This is a testing-the-water type of race.”