10/18/2012 2:22PM

Golden Gate: Halo Dolly tops Hollendorfer quartet in Miss America

Shigeki Kikkawa
Halo Dolly, winner of the Grade 2 Yellow Ribbon last month, is the most accomplished entrant in the Miss America.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer was going to enter three horses in Saturday’s $50,000-added Miss America at Golden Gate Fields. But Hollendorfer changed his mind at the last minute and entered a fourth, Halo Dolly, who will probably end up the favorite in the 1 1/16-mile turf race for fillies and mares.

Halo Dolly will be joined in the field of 10 by Cathy’s Crunches, a multiple stakes winner; Going for a Spin, a stakes winner who was the favorite in this summer’s Luther Burbank at Santa Rosa after being re-claimed by Hollendorfer; and Sweet Nothings, who has won three of her six starts over the Golden Gate Fields turf course.

Halo Dolly faded badly on a yielding Belmont turf course and finished last of eight in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl in her last start Sept. 29. She had won her two previous starts, including the Grade 2 Yellow Ribbon Handicap on the turf at Del Mar. Before that, she won the Solana Beach there and the Alameda County Fillies and Mares Stakes at Pleasanton.

Halo Dolly is the most accomplished horse in the race and has a strong record on the Golden Gate turf: two wins and a second in three tries.

Perhaps the entrant with the best chance of winning who is not trained by Hollendorfer is Blendara. A 5-year-old Richly Blended mare, Blendara was passed late by Halo Dolly and had to settle for fourth in the Solana Beach, and she comes into the Miss America off a second in the Harvest Stakes at Stockton on Sept. 22. That was an impressive effort, considering it came at six furlongs on the dirt, neither her favorite distance nor favorite surface.

Trainer Val Rhoden said Blendara is coming into the race in “very good shape.”

Bred and owned by Denise Halstead, Blendara has a win and a third in two starts over the course.

She spent nearly 11 months on the sidelines with a minor injury after running fifth in the Luther Burbank in July 2011. After missing by a neck in a sprint prep at Golden Gate in her June comeback, Blendara ran seventh in an optional claimer at Del Mar and then was beaten 1 3/4 lengths by Halo Dolly in the Solana Beach.

“Those two down south have her fully prepped,” Rhoden said. “I like what she’s doing now. She’s good and ready. It’s nice to be able to walk out of your stall and race.”

Completing the field are So Belle, Koby Jo, Sweetly Peppered, Triveni, and Imperialistic Diva.