09/15/2010 1:30PM

Shepherd Stakes may be right spot for Belleofhebridle to get second win


POMONA, Calif. – When first-time starter Belleofthebridle scored a 5 3/4-length blowout April 21 in the first 2-year-old race of the Hollywood Park meet, the sky was the limit. Five months and three starts later, Belleofthebridle is still looking for her second win.

It could happen Friday at Fairplex Park, where Belleofthebridle meets Hi Ho Yodeler in the $50,000 Phil D. Shepherd Stakes at seven furlongs.

Eight entered the seven-furlong stakes for 2-year-old fillies, and trainer Walther Solis expects Belleofthebridle to return to form following a dull fifth-place finish in the Grade 3 Sorrento Stakes on Aug. 6 at Del Mar.

“That race was frustrating,” admitted Solis, explaining that jockey David Flores told him the filly “did not get hold of the track at all.”

It was the first time in four career starts Belleofthebridle finished off the board.

“After that, we decided to wait and run her at Pomona,” Solis said.

Belleofthebridle adds blinkers Friday.

“We were trying to get her to relax, and she relaxed too much,” Solis said.

He expects her to produce speed Friday, and based on her best-of-the-morning gate work of 47.80 seconds on Sept. 11 at Fairplex, she likes the dirt surface.

“She worked really well, she worked by herself, and came back bouncing,” Solis said.

Flores rides her again Friday.

While Belleofthebridle attempts to regain form, Hi Ho Yodeler may only need to reproduce her most recent start. She won the $100,000 Generous Portion Stakes by more than three lengths Sept. 1 at Del Mar.

Martin Pedroza takes over for Patrick Valenzuela, and the versatile running style of Hi Ho Yodeler allows Pedroza the luxury of pressing the pace or taking back and rallying late.

While longshot winners at the Los Angeles County Fair were infrequent opening week (favorites won 55 percent of Thoroughbred races), bettors seeking a price play Friday may consider the maiden Vonn Nez.

A full sister to stakes winner La Nez, Vonn Nez finished fifth in her debut. In her second start, trainer Eric Kruljac entered her in the Generous Portion. She was slammed from both sides at the start and eliminated. Interestingly, her 9-1 odds were lower in the Generous Portion than 15-1 winner Hi Ho Yodeler. Daniel Sandoval is named to ride Vonn Nez in the Shepherd.

Other starters are Table for One; Swiss Wild Cat, a Mike Harrington-trained stablemate of Hi Ho Yodeler; Faisca, and Lucky Sis.