07/27/2012 2:36PM

Santa Rosa: Hollendorfer eyes another top-three stakes sweep in Luther Burbank


The last time trainer Jerry Hollendorfer entered three runners in a stakes, Halo Dolly, Cathy’s Crunches, and Anniversary Girl ran one-two-three in the Alameda County Fillies and Mares at Pleasanton.

On Sunday, Hollendorfer sends out multiple stakes winner Cathy’s Crunches, Anniversary Girl, and the recently re-claimed Going for a Spin in hopes of another sweep in the $50,000 Luther Burbank Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on the turf at the Sonoma County Fair in Santa Rosa.

While another sweep is possible, Hollendorfer’s trio will have a tough time scoring a trainer trifecta because of a deep field that includes Smarty Corn, who comes into the race on a two-race winning streak, and Bleach Blonde, last year’s Luther Burbank runner-up. Three runners who have been competing in Southern California also have been entered: Calle Vista, Madera Castana, and Sweetly Peppered, who is returning to her Northern California home base.

Cathy’s Crunches seems the best bet for Hollendorfer. Although she has never won on the turf, she was third in the Grade 3 La Habra and second in the China Doll on the turf at Santa Anita last year. She’ll be making her third start of the year after meeting males in a five-furlong turf sprint and then running second to stablemate Halo Dolly in the Pleasanton stakes.

Anniversary Girl scored a one-mile allowance victory in her last start on turf, edging Bleach Blonde. She has four wins and $160,308 in earnings on the turf.

Going for a Spin, who won an allowance for Hollendorfer over this course last year, was re-claimed for $40,000 out of a head loss at Betfair Hollywood Park on May 24. She hasn’t raced since, but has a solid work pattern, including a six-furlong bullet drill on July 21.

Trainer Bob Hess has high hopes for Smarty Corn, who has scored three straight front-running victories, the last two on turf, and has been pointed to this race after nearly seven weeks on the sidelines.

“She’s by Smarty Jones out of an Affirmed mare,” said Hess, explaining her success on the turf.

“Not until I ran her last time and she won did I really start to think about this race,” said Hess.

Although Bleach Blonde has lost to Smarty Corn and Anniversary Girl in her last two starts, trainer Lloyd Mason expects a big effort Sunday because she’s trained for two months with the Luther Burbank in mind.

“She’s really doing well, and she seems to run her best on turf,” he said.