06/12/2014 1:39PM

Let Faith Arise to stalk and pounce in Vanity

Benoit & Associates
Let Faith Arise wins the Grade 3 Adoration on May 18 at Santa Anita.

ARCADIA, Calif. – This spring has marked the emergence of Let Faith Arise in California’s older-female division, a status she can enhance in Saturday’s $300,000 Vanity Stakes at Santa Anita.

Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer for Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, Let Faith Arise has won two stakes this year – the Grade 1 Santa Margarita Stakes in March and the Grade 3 Adoration Stakes here May 18. In between, she was fourth behind the New York-based star Close Hatches in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park in April.

Races against fillies such as Close Hatches or 2013 champion 3-year-old filly Beholder are likely for Let Faith Arise in the autumn if she continues to impress. Until then, she can add to her record in the Grade 1 Vanity Stakes over 1 1/8 miles, the leading race for fillies and mares at the Santa Anita spring-summer meeting.

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Since her recent win, Let Faith Arise has thrived, according to Dan Ward, Hollendorfer’s assistant.

“I think she’s in better shape,” Ward said. “She should love the trip.”

Let Faith Arise, by Kafwain, won the Santa Margarita over 1 1/8 miles, her first attempt at that distance. For the Vanity, which drew a field of eight, Let Faith Arise should have an advantageous trip, stalking expected pacesetters Unusual Way and Iotapa.

“There is more speed in the race, and she can come from off of it,” Ward said. “I do like her versatility. She’ll be closing, especially with Unusual Way and [Iotapa] on the rail.”

Let Faith Arise has won 6 of 12 starts and $470,240. Because of her two stakes wins this year, she will carry 124 pounds under the allowance conditions of the Vanity, five pounds more than her rivals.

The biggest threat to Let Faith Arise is the 5-year-old mare Grace Hall, a five-time stakes winner trained by Bill Mott. Grace Hall was second in the Grade 2 Ruffian over a mile at Belmont Park on May 11, her first start in 13 months. The layoff was caused by a fracture in the coffin bone of a foot.

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The field includes three other stakes winners – Iotapa, Scherzinger, and Unusual Way. Irish Presence, Magic Union, and Yahilwa are the other runners.

Iotapa won the Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes in February and was second in the Santa Margarita. She was last of six in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff over seven furlongs at Churchill Downs on May 3.

Scherzinger, trained by Hollendorfer, won the Grade 2 Santa Monica Stakes over seven furlongs here in January and was third in the Humana Distaff. The Vanity will be Scherzinger’s first start beyond seven furlongs and is something of an experiment, Hollendorfer said.

“I don’t know what Scherzinger will do first time going long,” he said.

The quick Unusual Way won the Zia Park Oaks in New Mexico in November but is winless in three starts this year.

Yahilwa may be a danger from near the front. She was a game second to Let Faith Arise after holding an early lead in the Adoration.

“She’s improved every time I’ve run her, and I think the distance will help her,” trainer Jim Cassidy said. “She’s a filly that tries as much as she can.”