02/21/2012 3:52PM

Santa Anita: Patience pays with City to City

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Benoit & Associates
City to City, with Corey Nakatani aboard, wins the Buena Vista.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Timing is the key to riding City to City, the winner of Monday’s Grade 2 Buena Vista Handicap for fillies and mares on turf. The longer a rider is able to wait before asking City to City for her best effort, the better chance she has of winning.

In the Buena Vista, race strategy worked in favor of City to City, who was ridden for the first time by jockey Corey Nakatani. City to City ($19) was fifth of 11 on the backstretch and rallied through the final quarter-mile to win by a head over a fast-closing Up In Time.

“I don’t think she has a very long run and you have to wait,” said Dan Ward, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer’s assistant.

Nakatani had worked City to City in recent weeks to gain knowledge of her tendencies. “I couldn’t have been in a better spot, and the way the race developed was perfect,” he said.

The Buena Vista was City to City’s first win since the Grade 2 Palomar Handicap over 1 1/16 miles on turf at Del Mar last summer, ending a four-race losing streak. Owned by a partnership of William deBurgh, Mark DeDomenico, and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, the 5-year-old mare, by City Zip, has won 7 of 24 starts and $503,491. She is likely to return in the $150,000 Santa Ana Stakes on March 25.