04/26/2013 2:55PM

Hollywood Park: Moone’s My Name, Halo Dolly catch a break in Wilshire Handicap

Tom Keyser
A Grade 2 winner last summer at Del Mar, Halo Dolly lost twice recently as the favorite at Golden Gate with reasonable alibis.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – The female turf division in California gets a small boost Sunday at Betfair Hollywood Park, where eight fillies and mares race one mile in the Grade 3 Wilshire Handicap.

With local leaders Tiz Flirtatious and Lady of Shamrock waiting for the Grade 1 Gamely Stakes on May 27, the $100,000 Wilshire offers a chance for a European upstart to win her first graded stakes and for a California veteran to return to form.

Moone’s My Name, runner-up in her U.S. debut, and Halo Dolly, a 14-for-28 local pro, are early favorites. Other contenders include stretch-out sprinter Purim’s Dancer and Group 3 winner Esentepe. The outsiders are Nobilis, Long Face, Byrony, and Little Emily.

Moone’s My Name won 6 of 17 in England before she was sold to U.S. interests and sent to trainer John Sadler.

“She had good form, a good record,” Sadler said. “We had plenty of time to train her.”

Moone’s My Name fired in her April 7 comeback, missing by a neck in 1:33.42, second-fastest turf mile of Santa Anita winter by a filly or mare.

Sadler entered Moone’s My Name two weeks later in the Grade 2 Santa Barbara, but scratched.

“I prefer three weeks versus two,” Sadler said.

After such a big comeback effort, the question might be – is three weeks between starts enough?

“I think so, she’s pretty robust,” Sadler said. “She’s a 5-year-old and trained really well here at Hollywood Park.”

Joe Talamo rides Moone’s My Name, preliminary 5-2 favorite by track linemaker Russell Hudak. Sadler also entered Byrony, but said she is not a definite starter.

Halo’s Dolly, 120-pound topweight, seeks a return to form for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. A Grade 2 winner last summer at Del Mar, she lost twice recently as the favorite at Golden Gate with reasonable alibis.

Last out, she was positioned too far back in a race won by the pacesetter. Two starts ago, she faced males and finished second behind the good gelding Regulus. Hollendorfer’s assistant Dan Ward expects improvement Sunday.

“Halo Dolly is an honest campaigner,” Ward said. “She’s one for one here.”

In her only previous start on the Hollywood turf last summer, Halo Dolly won a stakes for California-breds.

Rafael Bejarano will ride Halo Dolly for the first time.

“I think he’ll ride her well, he rides everything well,” Ward said.

Bejarano and Hollendorfer teamed during the winter meet to go 23 for 38.

Purim’s Dancer, 4 for 7, goes long following a good third behind Mizdirection in the Grade 3 Las Cienegas. Tom Proctor trains. Tyler Baze will ride. Esentepe was a Group 3 winner in Europe, but lost twice as the favorite in second-level allowances this winter.

Nobilis finished second in her U.S. debut in a first-level allowance. She can improve. Little Emily looms the front-end upset candidate in her second start back.