Songbird is now undefeated in eight career starts
By Mark Scully 10:31AM 19 JUN 2016
Report: USA, Saturday
Santa Anita: Summertime Oaks (Grade 2) 1m110y, dirt, 3yo fillies
SONGBIRD (Jerry Hollendorfer/Mike Smith) was sent off a 1-20 favourite to extend her unbeaten run and did so with the minimum of fuss.
Things were slightly different in the early stages, with Bellamentary briefly jumping into a lead in the early stages of the contest.
Songbird soon took up her customary position at the head of affairs and never saw another rival, stretching away to a six and a half length victory from Bellamentary.
Kay Kay took third, a nose further adrift but the aftermath was all about Songbird, who is now undefeated in eight starts.
“It scares me to think of how good she is,” Smith said. “I try not to think of it.
“She stayed in the spot that she wanted to be, cruising alongside of her and it’s just amazing, her cruising speed. She started lengthening her stride on the backside, and I looked over at Bellamentary and I knew we were comfortable, but that she was having trouble keeping up.”
A birthday treat for Hollendorfer
The win was the perfect present for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer on his 70th birthday and he promised to keep challenging Songbird – although perhaps not against the opposite sex for now.
“It was beautiful the way she just settled in. I was very happy with the way she looked going down the backside,” he said.
“She was very comfortable, with her ears up, looking for something. The opportunity presented itself to be just a little off the pace and now we’ve shown everyone that we can do that.
“We thought she could do that before, but you never know until you try. We’ll try to keep her doing bigger and better things. I think we’ll stick with the girls for now and see what happens.”
Also on Saturday
Churchill Downs: Stephen Foster Handicap (Grade 1) 1m1f, dirt, 3yo+
BRADESTER (Eddie Kenneally/Joe Bravo) landed a first Grade 1 victory courtesy of a speedy display in Saturday’s $ 500,000 contest.
The six-year-old led all the way on his first attempt at the trip and had enough stamina in the tank to hold off the fast-finishing Eagle to score by half a length.
“He’s a pretty fun horse. He does all the hard work for you,” Bravo said. “He kind of reminds me of his father Lion Heart, who I rode in the [Grade 1] Haskell. I just kind of rode him like his dad and you saw what he did today.”