05/18/2012 11:31AM

Hollywood Park: Halo Dolly aims to avoid duel in Fran's Valentine

Shigeki Kikkawa
Halo Dolly will try to ration her speed in Sunday's $70,000 Fran’s Valentine at Betfair Hollywood Park.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – The last thing Jerry Hollendorfer wanted was his two starters in a $125,000 stakes going head and head.

But there were two supposed teammates, Halo Dolly and Sister Kate, running each other into the ground in the $125,000 B. Thoughtful on April 28 at Betfair Hollywood Park. It was not the plan.

“I was disappointed those two horses hooked up on the front end, but that happens sometimes,” Hollendorfer said.

After a dueling to midstretch in the 7 1/2-furlong main-track sprint, both weakened. Sister Kate finished third, and Halo Dolly, the favorite, finished fifth.

Sunday at Hollywood, Halo Dolly gets another crack at a stakes for California-bred fillies and mares. This time, she does not face a front-running stablemate in the $70,000 Fran’s Valentine. However, Halo Dolly will meet a formidable rival that will keep the pace honest – Sugarinthemorning.

Halo Dolly and Sugarinthemorning are the principals in the Fran’s Valentine, a one-mile turf race for statebred fillies and mares named for the filly that was disqualified from victory in the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies in 1984. Fran’s Valentine went on to win 13 races and more than $1.3 million, but she never won on turf.

Running long on grass is exactly what Halo Dolly does best.

“I think she fits better in the longer races,” Hollendorfer said. “She’s a very consistent filly.”

Halo Dolly has won nine races and $318,730 from 17 starts, and is 4 for 6 in grass routes. Joel Rosario takes over for Russell Baze, and if Rosario can ration the filly’s speed and simultaneously avoid a duel with Sugarinthemorning, Halo Dolly can win.

Sugarinthemorning has won five races and $372,334 from 14 starts, but two turns on grass will be new. A two-time stakes winner and runner-up by a neck in the Grade 1 Santa Monica Stakes in January at Santa Anita, Sugarinthemorning ran a route of ground once previously, finishing the runner-up in the $100,000 Torrey Pines at Del Mar last summer.

Sired by Candy Ride, Sugarinthemorning should handle a mile on turf.

In her most recent start April 12 at Keeneland, Sugarinthemorning finished sixth in the Grade 1 Madison. Garrett Gomez will ride Sugarinthemorning.

Five fillies and mares entered the Fran’s Valentine, race 8 on the nine-race card. Camille C has earnings of $374,995 that top the field, but after outstanding 2- and 3-year-old seasons in 2009-10, her form has tailed off.

Secret Cove is an allowance-caliber filly seeking her first win since November; she has won 5 of 19. Platinum Mine, a sprinter, is likely to start as the longest shot in the field.