10/08/2010 2:04PM

Rated Fiesty makes first start for Hollendorfer


Northern California’s all-time leading trainer, Jerry Hollendorfer, went seven years from 2001 to 2008 without running a horse at the Big Fresno Fair.

Hollendorfer still doesn’t send many horses to Fresno, but he will send out a multiple graded stakes-winning mare, Rated Fiesty, in Sunday’s $50,000 Harvest Stakes. The six-furlong race is the final stakes sprint for older fillies and mares this year in Northern California.

Bill Heiligbrodt, whose Heiligbrodt Racing Stables owns the Florida homebred with JMJ Racing, sent the 5-year-old mare to Hollendorfer this summer. The former Steve Asmussen trainee will be making her first start for Hollendorfer and first start since running third in the six-furlong Regret at Monmouth on Aug. 1.

The winner of a pair of Grade 3 races as a 2-year-old, Rated Fiesty has finished third in three straight stakes at Monmouth and is looking for her first victory of the year. She figures to get a good stalking trip under jockey Chad Schvaneveldt from the outside post in the field of seven.

Holding Her Ground and Midnight Margarita, the co-highweights at 121 pounds, both like the lead and have run effectively up front. Hallelujah Trail, runner-up in a pair of stakes at Emerald Downs this spring, also has speed but can rate effectively.

Holding Her Ground began a three-race winning streak in her Northern California debut June 25 at Pleasanton. The streak was snapped when she was beaten a half-length after setting the pace in the CERF Stakes at Del Mar on Sept. 8.

Midnight Margarita also has won three of her past four starts, one coming on a disqualification. She was second in her 2010 debut, following a 10-month layoff, and then returned three months later to win a $50,000 optional claimer at Santa Rosa on Aug. 13. The 5-year-old Valerie Rhoden-trained mare has won 4 of 8 career starts.

Hallelujah Trail drew the rail for her first start since losing a photo in the Washington Legislator’s on May 31.

She’s Very Rare, making her second start of the year after running fourth in the Bangles N Beads on Sept. 12 at Fairplex, will be coming from well off the pace.

Red White and Brew and True Religion figure to be part of the pace picture. Red White and Brew won her first two Northern California starts in claimers before fading badly in a Golden Gate allowance race on Aug. 29.

True Religion, the lone 3-year-old in the field, comes off a third-place finish in the B.J. Lewis on Sept. 9 at Fairplex.