05/19/2012 2:39PM

Hollywood: Via Villaggio benefits from perfect ride in Railbird

Benoit & Associates
Thanks to a trouble-free trip under Martin Pedroza, Via Villaggio (right) outgames heavy favorite Sister Moon to win the Grade 3 Railbird.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - On May 5, Via Villaggio finished a troubled fifth in the Grade 3 Senorita Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park. She was steadied in early stretch and beaten 3 1/2 lengths.

The lessons learned that day by jockey Martin Pedroza were put to good use in Saturday’s $100,000 Railbird Stakes. Via Villaggio ($23) had a perfect trip in the Grade 3 race for 3-year-old fillies, rallying on the inside through the stretch to upset 1-9 Sister Moon.

Via Villaggio was timed in 1:23.03 and won by a half-length, her first stakes win in her 10th start.

“I was hoping to keep Martin on the horse,” trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said. “He made a little mistake and got her in trouble in her last race.”

Pedroza had Via Villaggio in third in the field of four on the backstretch of the Railbird. Racing on the rail, Via Villaggio engaged Sister Moon in early stretch and trailed the favorite by a head with a furlong remaining.

Sister Moon held second, finishing 4 1/2 lengths in front of Dijarvo. Lady Fairbanks was last. Hollendorfer scratched Killer Graces, the winner of the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet Stakes last December, because he thought she “could do with a few more pounds.”

Via Villaggio has earned $121,070 for owner Steve Beneto, who was appointed to the California Horse Racing Board by Gov. Jerry Brown last Thursday.

Hollendorfer said that Via Villaggio and Killer Graces will be pointed for the $150,000 Hollywood Oaks on June 23. Run over 1 1/16 miles, the Hollywood Oaks is expected to attract Willa B Awesome, the winner of the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks in March.