09/25/2012 2:46PM

Santa Anita: City to City preps for Breeders' Cup in Rodeo Drive Stakes

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Benoit & Associates
City to City will get an audition for the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf in Saturday's Rodeo Drive Stakes at Santa Anita.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Halo Dolly and City to City were separated by 1 1/4 lengths when they finished first and second in the Grade 2 Yellow Ribbon Stakes at Del Mar earlier this month. This Saturday, they will be a nation apart.

With both fillies in outstanding form, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer is starting Halo Dolly and City to City in major stakes at Belmont Park and Santa Anita.

City to City, 5, runs in a tough edition of the $250,000 Rodeo Drive Stakes over 1 1/4 miles on turf at Santa Anita. It could lead to an appearance in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita on Nov. 2.

“She has to show that she belongs in the Breeders’ Cup,” Hollendorfer said. “It looks like she wants to get that distance.”

Halo Dolly will start in the $600,000 Flower Bowl Invitational over 1 1/4 miles on turf at Belmont Park.

“She’s not nominated to the Breeders’ Cup,” Hollendorfer said. “We’re going after the purse.”

The Rodeo Drive is one of five Grade 1 stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday, all with Breeders’ Cup implications. The Grade 1 races are part of the Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In program, offering a fees-paid automatic berth to Breeders’ Cup races on Nov. 2-3, provided the winners are nominated to that program.

City to City was unlucky in the Yellow Ribbon, closing from seventh in a field of eight in the final furlong despite racing in traffic in early stretch. Earlier this summer, she won the Grade 2 John Mabee Stakes over 1 1/8 miles on turf at Del Mar. She has won five stakes in her 30-race career.

Hollendorfer will have a busy weekend at Santa Anita, the first days of the autumn meeting. The season starts Friday with a program led by the $100,000 Eddie D Stakes on the hillside turf course. Hollendorfer starts Chosen Miracle, unraced since February.

Saturday, Hollendorfer runs Killer Graces in the $70,000 Unzip Me Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on the hillsi de turf course and Scarlet Strike in the $250,000 Chandelier Stakes for 2-year-old fillies over 1 1/16 miles.

Scarlet Strike won a one-mile maiden race at Del Mar on Sept. 2 in her third career start.

“We have no excuses going in,” Hollendorfer said. “I kind of have high hopes for Scarlet Strike. I thought she ran a good race at Del Mar. We think she’ll be a much better filly going long.”