06/20/2013 12:52PM

Hollywood Oaks big-league debut for Doinghardtimeagain

Shigeki Kikkawa
Doinghardtimeagain wins the Melair Stakes at the same distance and over the same surface as the Hollywood Oaks.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Doinghardtimeagain can prove in Saturday’s $150,000 Hollywood Oaks at Betfair Hollywood Park that she is capable of winning more than stakes for California-breds.

Already a winner of 4 of 8 starts and $483,770, Doinghardtimeagain makes her graded stakes debut in the Grade 2 Hollywood Oaks for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles on the synthetic main track. It is a surface that Doinghardtimeagain has proven she adores.

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Last fall, she won her first stakes in the Soviet Problem Stakes at seven furlongs at Hollywood Park. Earlier this year, she won the Evening Jewel Stakes on dirt at Santa Anita and followed with a victory in the Melair Stakes at 1 1/16 miles here on April 27, her most recent start.

In those stakes, which were all for California-breds, she stalked the early pace and kicked clear in the final furlong under leading rider Rafael Bejarano, who has the mount on Saturday.

“We have a lot of confidence in that filly,” said Jerry Hollendorfer, who trains Doinghardtimeagain for Tom and Debbie Stull.

Hollendorfer’s enthusiasm has been boosted in recent weeks by Doinghardtimeagain’s workouts. Beginning on May 31 and continuing through the first half of June, Doinghardtimeagain had the fastest workout of the morning at six furlongs on three occasions, including a 1:12.80 drill on June 12. On Monday, Doinghardtimeagain worked a half-mile in 47.20 seconds, the fastest of 30 recorded works at the distance.

Hollendorfer says that Doinghardtimeagain was not urged in those works.

“She does things on her own,” Hollendorfer said. “It’s not because we’ve been asking her. If she bullet works, it’s okay.”

There are five starters in the Hollywood Oaks, Saturday’s third race. Doinghardtimeagain faces two other stakes winners – Iotapa, who won the Railbird Stakes at seven furlongs here on May 19, and Ciao Bella Luna, who won the Grade 2 Beaumont Stakes at Keeneland in April and was second in the Railbird.

The Hollywood Oaks will be the stakes debut for two starters – Ondine and Unbridled Wee.

Also trained by Hollendorfer, Ciao Bella Luna won at seven furlongs in the Beaumont but was beaten in two-turn races at Fair Grounds and Santa Anita earlier this year. The distance of the Hollywood Oaks is a concern for Hollendorfer.

“I think we need to have her in there to find that out,” Hollendorfer said.

Iotapa was second to 2012 champion 2-year-old filly Beholder in the Santa Anita Oaks at 1 1/16 miles on April 6, her only start around two turns. The goal since that race has been the Hollywood Oaks, with the Railbird used as a prep race, said trainer John Sadler.

“I think I’m going in with as good a chance as anyone,” Sadler said. “She’s a good filly and this is her home track.”

A victory by Unbridled Wee would be a surprise. Trained by Peter Eurton, Unbridled Wee won a maiden race at 1 1/16 miles in her fourth start on May 24. Earlier this year, she was third in a $50,000 claiming race for maidens at Santa Anita.

Ondine will get a much-needed class test in the Hollywood Oaks. Trained by Bob Baffert, Ondine has won her last two starts, both at 1 1/16 miles – a maiden race at Santa Anita on April 12 by 2 1/4 lengths and an allowance race here on May 11 by 3 3/4 lengths. She was heavily favored in both races.

“She looks good,” Baffert said. “She trains well. She needs to get a test. She’s been wrapped up in her wins.”