Updated on 09/16/2011 8:43AM

Rolly Polly up in time in Safely Kept

Benoit Photo
Rolly Polly gets up to win Sunday's $75,000 Safely Kept Handicap at Hollywood Park by a half-length.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Since arriving in this country from France, Rolly Polly has sprinted on the turf and dirt, and run long on turf. But she does one thing best, and that is sprint on turf. In Sunday's $75,000 Safely Kept Handicap at Hollywood Park, she won for the fifth time without a loss in the United States at her specialty, with a late rally that got her up just in time.

Rolly Polly, the heavy favorite, received a perfect trip in the 5 1/2-furlong race. She sat third early behind the dueling leaders, Wild Tickle and Harvest Girl, as they clicked off fractions of 22.55 seconds and :45.09 for a half-mile. Still third with a furlong remaining, Rolly Polly surged late and won by a half-length in 1:03.01 on the firm course. Wild Tickle and Harvest Girl finished in a dead heat for second.

Rolly Polly ($2.80) has now won five times in nine starts for trainer Bobby Frankel, including last year's Safely Kept. Her last four victories have been by a combined margin of 1 1/2 lengths.

"She always makes it close. The last 50 yards, she takes off, no matter the distance," Frankel said. "Maybe she's smarter than we are."

Rolly Polly, a 4-year-old daughter of Mukaddamah, has won 10 times in 17 starts. She was ridden this time by Kent Desormeaux because Pat Valenzuela, who had ridden Rolly Polly in her three prior starts, is on suspension.

"It was just a matter of who Bobby chose. I'm glad he chose me," Desormeaux said. "She knows her job and gets it done. Five and a-half furlongs hits her right between the eyes.

"This is a big win for me," said Desormeaux, who had just one prior victory in two weeks at this meet. "It'll pick my head up."