06/22/2013 5:45PM

Hollywood Oaks: Doinghardtimeagain changes tactics to beat open company

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Benoit & Associates
Rafael Bejarano guides Doinghardtime to a 2 1/2-length victory in the Grade 2 Hollywood Oaks.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Doinghardtimeagain won the fourth stakes of her nine-race career in Saturday’s $150,000 Hollywood Oaks at Betfair Hollywood Park, a victory that displayed the filly’s marked improvement over recent months.

The Grade 2 Hollywood Oaks was Doinghardtimeagain’s first stakes win against open company and was achieved with different tactics than her previous stakes wins. In the Soviet Problem Stakes last December, and the Evening Jewel and Melair Stakes earlier this year, Doinghardtimeagain stalked the pace and pulled clear in the final furlong.

In the Hollywood Oaks against four rivals, Doinghardtimeagain ($3.60) led throughout in a modest pace and won by 2 1/2 lengths over Iotapa, the runner-up in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks in April. Owned by Tom and Debra Stull and trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Doinghardtimeagain ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.27.

Doinghardtimeagain’s speed was an advantage that deserved to be utilized, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said.

“We thought we had the best horse,” Hollendorfer said. “We used her speed and when they came to her, she kicked away.”

Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Doinghardtimeagain set fractions of 23.93 and 47.78 seconds, leading by a length over Ondine. On the turn, Iotapa moved closer to the leader with a three-wide move, but was unable to get any closer when Doinghardtimeagain moved away from her rivals.

Iotapa, who won the minor Railbird Stakes here on May 19, held second.

“She just got outrun,” said Joe Talamo, who rode Iotapa. “The winner had a really easy lead. I thought I was in a good spot.”

Ondine finished third, followed by Ciao Bella Luna, and Unbridled Wee in the small field of five 3-year-old fillies.

Doinghardtimeagain, a California-bred by Ministers Wild Cat, was bred by the Stulls and has won 5 of 9 starts and $573,770. Her three previous stakes wins were against California-breds. Doinghardtimeagain’s last loss was a second in the Sweet Life Stakes against open company on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita in February.

“If you look at her form in her last two or three races, she’s really improved,” Tom Stull said.