09/10/2010 4:26PM

Via Veneto can give Baffert second stakes win of Fairplex meet


POMONA, Calif. – Despite a disappointing fourth in an allowance race last out, Via Veneto will be favored to win the $50,000 Bangles and Beads Stakes on Sunday at Fairplex Park.

A small field of five fillies and mares entered the 6 1/2-furlong stakes, and trainer Bob Baffert already cleared the first hurdle by gaining the services of Fairplex all-time leading jockey Martin Pedroza.

“She’s training well, and Martin took the call,” Baffert said. “At this track, Martin Pedroza gets first call; Martin Garcia gets second call.”

Baffert and Pedroza already won one stakes at the meet, and if Via Veneto runs like she trains, the 4-year-old filly can make short work of the Bangles and Beads field.

Via Veneto finished fourth of six in a second-level allowance last out at Del Mar.

“I think she likes dirt better,” Baffert said.

Via Veneto was based this summer at Hollywood Park, which has a synthetic Cushion Track surface with characteristics similar to dirt.

Via Veneto has won 2 of 11 and $95,540. She breaks from post 1 and is the 8-5 favorite on the track’s preliminary morning line.

Baffert historically starts few horses at the Fair, but 2010 could be different. Santa Anita is closed, and the large Baffert stable is split between Hollywood and Fairplex. Assistant trainer Mike Marlow runs the Fairplex operation, and due to the fact half Baffert’s runners are already on the grounds, Baffert could be a factor throughout the meet in allowance and stakes.

Jerry Hollendorfer also will keep a handful of horses at Fairplex; his fast-working comebacker Broadway Hennessey is among the Bangles and Beads entrants. The 3-for-14 filly posted back-to-back bullet works at Golden Gate before shipping to Fairplex.

Terrify won a $20,000 maiden-claimer at Fairplex Park by seven lengths one year ago, and was claimed by Steve Knapp. She has since earned nearly $90,000 and could set the pace Sunday.

Lauren C has raced four times at Fairplex, with a win, two seconds and a third.