10/21/2012 7:36AM

Golden Gate Fields: Halo Dolly much the best in Miss America

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William Vassar/Vassar Photography
Halo Dolly, ridden by Russell Baze, collects her third stakes victory in her last four outings in the Miss America.

ALBANY, Calif. – Three weeks after finishing last in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl at Belmont, Halo Dolly  returned to her winning ways with an easy victory in the $64,300 Miss America Stakes at Golden Gate Fields on Saturday.

Halo Dolly ($3.80) sat behind pacesetting Triveni, who went off at 77-1, until the quarter pole when jockey Russell Baze finally let her run. She quickly took command in the stretch and was never challenged as longshots Sweetly Peppered (41-1), stablemate Going for a Spin (17-1) and second choice Koby Jo finished second, third , and fourth with Triveni fifth in a four-way photo behind Halo Dolly.

“She bounced back pretty good,” said Baze, whose mount was 1 3/4 lengths in front at the end of the 1 1/16-mile turf race. Winning time was 1:44.72 as Halo Dolly won for the third time in her past four starts, all in stakes races.

“She was acting real well so I decided to try to get a race where she could win and get that last one off her mind,” said winning trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who is also a part owner.

Baze gave Halo Dolly, a 4-year-old Popular filly,  a confident ride.

“She looked like the best horse in here, and I figured if I gave her any kind of decent trip she should win,” said Baze, who added the filly was waiting for horses late.

The victory, worth $39,500, lifted her career earnings to $666,896 with 14 victories in 24 starts.