04/28/2012 8:36PM

Hollywood Park: Unusual Heatwave gives dam second straight win in Snow Chief

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Benoit & Associates
Unusual Heatwave gives jockey Rafael Bejarano the fourth of his five wins on Saturday's card at Hollywood Park.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Keeping it in the family, Unusual Heatwave won his first stakes in Saturday’s $300,000 Snow Chief Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park.

Ridden by the red-hot Rafael Bejarano, his fourth of five wins on the day, Unusual Heatwave closed from ninth in a field of 10 3-year-old California-breds to score by a half-length.

Unusual Heatwave is out of Miss Alphie, who produced the 2010 winner of the Snow Chief Stakes in Alphie’s Bet. Both winners are owned by Peter and Ellen Johnson and Teresa McWilliams and trained by Alexis Barba.

Alphie’s Bet is by Tribal Rule. Unusual Heatwave is by Unusual Heat.

In Saturday’s Snow Chief, Unusual Heatwave ($7.40) ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.63, outfinishing 9-5 favorite Stoney Fleece by a half-length.

Dylan Donnelly, a maiden, finished third.

The Snow Chief win proved to Barba that the late-developing Unusual Heatwave is best suited to distance races. The colt was fourth in the Pasadena Stakes on turf at Santa Anita in his stakes debut on March 23.

“I wasn’t concerned about the distance,” Barba said. “The family is not sprinters. He’s been a little behind. He’s a May foal and he’s coming around.”

Barba said her only concern was Unusual Heatwave’s position in the first half of the race, well behind the longshot Suances Candy, who set an early pace of 23.50 and 47.64 seconds.

“I was a little worried,” Barba said. “They were staying. I thought we were a little far back.

It turned out that Bejarano had a great sense of timing.

“I had the rider of the day,” Barba said.