07/11/2012 1:29PM

Hollywood Park: Unusual Hottie gets change of tactics for Friday optional claimer

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Benoit & Associates
Unusual Hottie will try to relax a little more in a one-mile optional claimer on turf Friday.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Miss Speed Dating and Unusual Hottie were the victims of their own bad luck in their last starts.

Miss Speed Dating raced in traffic in her last start, on June 21, and finished fourth. Unusual Hottie led into the stretch May 25 and was caught late, finishing third.

They are the leading contenders in an optional claimer over a mile on turf for California-bred fillies and mares at Betfair Hollywood Park on Friday evening. Friday’s card is the start of the final weekend of the spring-summer meeting. Del Mar opens Wednesday.

The first post time on Friday’s eight-race program is 7:05 p.m. Pacific.

Unusual Hottie, owned by Seyyed Nilforushan, has won 2 of 6 starts – a maiden claimer and a starter allowance. In her last three starts, all first-condition allowance races or optional claimers, she has finished second twice and third.

In the May 25 race, she led by 1 1/2 lengths at the eighth pole and finished a half-length behind Donner Wasser, who is part of Friday’s field. Friday, Unusual Hottie will be ridden for the first time by leading rider Rafael Bejarano.

“We’ll change her style a little bit,” trainer John Sadler said. “I think she’s making the front too soon in her races. We’ll wait a little bit. She was kind of making the lead and pulling herself up. She’s a pretty nice little filly.”

Miss Speed Dating has one win in three starts and is the least experienced of the eight fillies and mares in the race. Owned by breeders Michael and Cory Wellman, Miss Speed Dating won her second start in a maiden race over a mile here May 6. On June 21, she was at the back of a field of seven and was steadied at the five-eighths pole under jockey Garrett Gomez.

“Garrett said he let her go up on the inside and she wanted to get to running,” trainer Paddy Gallagher said. “She was erratic. She still finished nicely. It was actually a pretty good race.”

Donner Wasser has started once since winning on May 25. On July 7, she was fifth in a field of seven in an optional claimer against open company over 1 1/16 miles on turf.

A 5-year-old mare trained by Mike Mitchell, Donner Wasser is entered for a $25,000 claiming price Friday. It will be the first time she has raced for a claiming price in her 14-race career.