08/19/2011 12:48PM

Solana Beach serves as nice consolation prize for Halo Dolly

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DEL MAR, Calif. – Halo Dolly is so highly-regarded in trainer Jerry Hollendorfer’s stable that she was entered for Saturday’s $250,000 Del Mar Oaks. Unfortunately, the same idea occurred to the owners and trainers of 12 other 3-year-old fillies, leaving Halo Dolly on the also-eligible list.

As a consolation, Hollendorfer has Sunday’s $100,000 Solana Beach Handicap for statebred fillies and mares over a mile on turf. In that race, Halo Dolly will be favored, and seeking her fifth consecutive win.

A filly by Popular, Halo Dolly is the only 3-year-old in a field of six. She has compiled her winning streak by winning a starter allowance and allowance race at Golden Gate Fields in the spring, an allowance race at Pleasanton on July 3, and the Diamond Jubilee Stakes over 1 1/16 miles on turf at Santa Rosa on July 30.

The winning streak was preceded by a sixth-place finish in the Melair Stakes at Hollywood Park in April, a race that Hollendorfer dismisses.

“She got on the outside and ran off,” Hollendorfer said. “We’ve always liked her and thought she was a filly with promise. The more we worked with her, the better she’s got. We think she’s okay.”

Owned by a partnership, Halo Dolly is best when allowed to stalk the pace, and that scenario should occur in the Solana Beach, with Caitie’s Secret likely to lead. Trained by John Sadler, Caitie’s Secret makes her stakes debut on Sunday.

Warren’s Jitterbug drew the outside post, and is winless in eight starts since the Sandy Blue Handicap here last summer. Owned by breeder Ben Warren, Warren’s Jitterbug is a closer who was a game second in an allowance race against open company at Hollywood Park on June 5.

She emerged from that race with an illness, trainer Jorge Gutierrez said. Ideally, the Solana Beach would be a week or two later in the schedule, he said.

“She’s had her ups and downs,” Gutierrez said. “I wish I had one more work in her. I think she can hit the board. She’ll be coming.”

Average price of yearlings rises at Pleasanton sale

The Northern California yearling sale at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton last Tuesday showed growth in average price compared with a disappointing 2010 sale and was largely even with the 2009 sale.

At the one-day sale, 70 horses were sold for $357,900, an average of $5,113 and a median of $2,700. The average price increased 17 percent from the 2010 figure of $4,359 and was down slightly from the 2009 average of $5,146.

Tuesday, there were 39 horses listed as bought back, compared with 53 in 2010. There were 16 horses withdrawn this year, compared with 20 last year.

For the first time, this year’s sale included a small number of horses of racing age, with 15 offered, 10 listed as being bought back, and five sold for $25,000, an average of $5,000. The highest among that group was a 3-year-old unraced filly by Flame Thrower who sold for $10,000.

Tuesday’s sale topper, purchased for $40,000 by Bob Hess Sr. agent, is a full sister to the 2011 stakes winner Sherman Bartlebort. Sherman Bartlebort was purchased at the 2010 Northern California yearling sale for $6,500, and has won 2 of 5 starts and $71,370 this year, highlighted by a win in the Everett Nevin Alameda County Futurity at Pleasanton last month.

The sale topper, by Tannersmyman out of Alpenwald, was consigned by Woodbridge Farm, and was bred by Woodbridge and James Eaton.

The leading colt, a $20,000 purchase, was bought by Jeff Bonde, agent for Sierra Sunset. The colt is by Stormin Fever, and was consigned by Woodbridge Farm and bred by Eileen Madson