12/12/2010 6:18PM

Ultra Blend secures third stakes of season in Cat's Cradle

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BENOIT PHOTO
Joel Rosario guides the 6-year-old Ultra Blend to victory in the Cat's Cradle Handicap.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Ultra Blend won her third stakes of 2010 in Sunday’s $80,400 Cat’s Cradle Handicap at Hollywood Park, a comfortable victory that left trainer Art Sherman looking forward to the winter.

Ridden by Joel Rosario, Ultra Blend ($4.60) won the race for statebreds by 3 1/4 lengths, closing from fifth in a field of six fillies and mares. Ultra Blend ran 7 1/2 furlongs in 1:29.76. She reached a prominent position on the turn after being urged into contention by Rosario.

“She kind of gets a little lazy,” Sherman said. “When he got her to the outside, she found her best stride.”

Ultra Blend was followed by Word Association, who was second early and led in the stretch. Word Association finished 2 1/2 lengths in front of Warren’s Jitterbug.

Owned by Nels Erickson, Ultra Blend, 6, has won 7 of 17 starts and $367,646. She won the California State Fair Sprint in Sacramento in July and the California Cup Matron here in October.

Sherman said that Ultra Blend will be pointed for the Sunshine Millions races between California-breds and Florida-breds on Jan. 29 but was unsure whether she would start in the $300,000 Distaff over 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita or the $200,000 Sprint over six furlongs at Gulfstream Park.

“I’ll point her to those races and see who’s going,” Sherman said. “I don’t think she needs to take her track with her. She’s a flat-trier.”