01/24/2013 4:55PM

Santa Anita: Doinghardtimeagain goes for rich purse against statebreds

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Benoit & Associates
Doinghardtimeagain comes to the California Breeders' Champion Stakes off her first stakes win in the Soviet Problem.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Doinghardtimeagain ran well enough in two wins at Betfair Hollywood Park in the fall to be considered for a stakes against open company in early 2013.

Before starting in such a race, she has a lucrative assignment in the fillies division of the $300,000 California Breeders’ Champion Stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday, run over one mile.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and owners Tom and Debbie Stull considered the California Breeders’ Champion Stakes for California-breds as well as Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes at Santa Anita and the $75,000 California Oaks at Golden Gate Fields on Feb. 9 for Doinghardtimeagain.

They chose the richest of those races and the only restricted one.

Bred by the Stulls, Doinghardtimeagain starts in the California Breeders’ Champion Stakes on a two-race winning streak – a maiden race against California-breds at Hollywood Park on Nov. 9 and the $196,000 Soviet Problem Stakes over seven furlongs Dec. 9. In the Soviet Problem, Doinghardtimeagain closed from fourth in a field of seven to win by a convincing 2 1/4 lengths.

The California Breeders’ Champion Stakes will be Doinghardtimeagain’s second start at Santa Anita. She was second by a half-length to Tilde in the $250,000 California Cup Juvenile Fillies over 1 1/16 miles here in October. Tilde, who was well-beaten in two stakes at Hollywood Park in the fall, including a fourth in the Soviet Problem Stakes, is part of a field of 11 in the California Breeders’ Champion Stakes.

Starting Doinghardtimeagain in a two-turn race is not a major worry for Hollendorfer. “She’s been training forwardly,” he said.

With such prize money at stake Saturday, a graded stakes, or one against open company, can wait for Doinghardtimeagain. It was not on Hollendorfer’s mind Thursday.

“I try to take these things step by step,” he said.

Tilde ($344,560) and Doinghardtimeagain ($198,500) have the most earnings in the California Breeders’ Champion Stakes field. Tilde won two sprint stakes at Del Mar last summer – the CTBA Stakes and Generous Portion Stakes.

The other 2012 stakes winners in the field are Marks Mine, who won the Golden Gate Debutante on Dec. 1, and the speedy Unusual Way, who won two sprint stakes last year – the Wine Country Debutante at Santa Rosa in August and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filly Sprint Preview Stakes here in November.

Marks Mine makes her first start in Southern California in Saturday’s race. Trained by Steve Specht, Marks Mine is likely to be part of the pace from an inside post.

In the Soviet Problem Stakes, Unusual Way was always near the front and finished second, 2 1/4 lengths behind Doinghardtimeagain. Unusual Way had a better outing that day than Home Journey, who was last of seven as the 3-5 favorite.

Trained by Mike Puype, Home Journey had won her first two starts convincingly in October and November but gave way when challenged in the Soviet Problem Stakes. The loss left Puype stunned – a puzzle he was unable to solve.

“I couldn’t put a finger on it,” he said.

Home Journey will be making her first start at a distance greater than a mile .

“My biggest concern is the distance,” Puype said. “I expect her to run well.”