02/14/2013 3:46PM

Santa Anita: Snow Fall, Lady of Fifty give Hollendorfer pair of aces for Santa Maria

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Benoit & Associates
Snow Fall, winning the Paseana on Jan. 13, makes her third start since joining Jerry Hollendorfer's barn in the Grade 2 Santa Maria. .

ARCADIA, Calif. – Snow Fall emerged as a mare with a highly promising future when she won her first stakes in California in the Paseana Handicap at Santa Anita on Jan. 13.

Her ascension through the female main-track division can continue in Saturday’s $200,000 Santa Maria Stakes for fillies and mares over 1 1/16 miles. But she must beat two leading rivals, including stablemate Lady of Fifty, who won the Grade 2 Bayakoa Handicap in December.

Snow Fall and Lady of Fifty give trainer Jerry Hollendorfer a strong team for the Grade 2 Santa Maria. Hollendorfer entered a third mare, the California-bred stakes winner Going for a Spin. Hollendorfer said on Thursday that he was “90 percent sure” that Going for a Spin would be withdrawn from the Santa Maria for an undetermined race.

The Hollendorfer runners are joined on the list of leading contenders by Book Review, a 4-year-old filly trained by Bob Baffert. Book Review won the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes for 3-year-old fillies over seven furlongs on Dec. 26, and was second in the Grade 2 La Canada Stakes for 4-year-old fillies over 1 1/16 miles on Jan. 20.

Snow Fall was a minor stakes winner in Delaware in 2011 when trained by Graham Motion. She joined Hollendorfer’s stable in the fall and was second in the Kalookan Queen Stakes for sprinters on Dec. 29 in her California debut. Teddy’s Promise won the Kalookan Queen and returned to win the Grade 1 Santa Monica Stakes in late January.

In the Paseana over 1 1/16 miles, Snow Fall was always near the front and pulled clear in the final furlong to win by 3 3/4 lengths.

“We think she’s going in the right direction,” Hollendorfer said. “It seems like she likes Santa Anita.”

The Santa Maria will be Snow Fall’s first start in a graded stakes since she finished last of six in the Grade 1 First Lady Stakes on turf at Keeneland in October. Snow Fall races for Peter Abruzzo, Taylor Made Properties, and George Saufley, and has won 4 of 13 starts and $185,193.

Lady of Fifty, co-owned by Hollendorfer and George Todaro, can race near the front. She used that style to win the Palms Springs Handicap over a mile here in November, but closed from farther back to win the Grade 2 Bayakoa Handicap by 3 1/4 lengths at Betfair Hollywood Park on Dec. 8.

In the La Canada Stakes, Lady of Fifty was beaten 4 1/4 lengths as the 6-5 favorite, closing from fifth in a field of six.

“She’s got a little too far back off the pace,” Hollendorfer said. “She was left with too much to do.”

Lady of Fifty finished a little more than two lengths behind Book Review in the La Canada.

The Santa Maria will be Book Review’s first start against mares in a stakes. Baffert said he was not discouraged by her loss in the La Canada, when she finished 1 3/4 lengths behind More Chocolate.

“The last time she got caught in a slow pace and came running,” Baffert said.

Wins by one of the other runners in the Santa Maria – Great Hot or Private Affair – would be a surprise. Great Hot was fourth in the Paseana. Private Affair was 10th in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup against males in December.