03/22/2011 12:30PM

Santa Anita: Startjumpin Marnie goes for four in a row


ARCADIA, Calif. – A comfortable victory in a $32,000 claimer at Hollywood Park last December was the start of a three-race winning streak for Startjumpin Marnie, who could extend that streak to four in an optional claimer at Santa Anita on Thursday.

Trained and co-owned by Jerry Hollendorfer, Startjumpin Marnie, 6, followed the win in a $32,000 claimer with a victory in a $50,000 claimer here Jan. 7 and a win in the Super Bowl Party Handicap over a mile on turf here Feb. 6, her most recent start.

The layoff into Thursday’s race has been longer than Hollendorfer and his assistant, Dan Ward, intended.

“We’ve entered her a bunch of times,” Ward said. “She’s been ready to run.”

Startjumpin Marnie has drawn the outside post in an optional claimer over a mile on turf that features six fillies and mares. Startjumpin Marnie is entered for an $80,000 claiming price.

From April 2009 to October 2010, she ran in seven consecutive optional claiming races at Golden Gate Fields in which she was eligible to be claimed for $50,000. During that span, she had just one win. The victory in the $32,000 claimer in December seemed to change the mare, Ward said.

“She was able to get some confidence,” he said. “She’s very happy. That led to a couple of wins.”

Corey Nakatani was aboard Startjumpin Marnie on Feb. 6 and retains the mount. The race is likely for turf but could be switched to the main track if unsettled weather from the weekend continues into the week. The surface is not vital for Startjumpin Marnie. In 2008, she won the Federal Way Handicap over 6 1/2 furlongs on a dirt track at Emerald Downs.

Startjumpin Marnie is one of four fillies in the field who won their last starts.

Talktoomuch won an optional claimer over about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course by 3 1/4 lengths on Feb. 24. She won an allowance race over 1 1/16 miles on turf at Hollywood Park last December.

Calle Vista, who is likely to set the pace, won an optional claimer over 1 1/8 miles on turf on Feb. 13. First Settler won an allowance race over 1 1/8 miles on turf on Feb. 3, her most recent start.

She’s Cheeky, fifth in the Clocker’s Corner Handicap on the hillside turf course March 5, and Summers Peace, third in an allowance race at Golden Gate Fields on Jan. 23, also start.