© Benoit Photo
By Ed Golden, Santa Anita Publicity: Superstar filly Songbird, who always gives her all even though she has yet to be asked for it, worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track in 1:01 early Saturday morning as she prepares for an East Coast sojourn.
“The clockers gave her 1:01; I got her in a minute point 85, and she galloped out very nicely and very easily,” Jerry Hollendorfer said, emphasizing the word ‘very’ on both occasions.
Regular rider Mike Smith was scheduled to work Songbird, but exercise rider Edgar Rodriguez deputized for the Hall of Fame jockey when he was involved in a minor mishap on another worker shortly after the main track opened before sunup, around 5:10 a.m.
“Mike was going to work her, but he had a problem this morning,” Hollendorfer said. “I told him he shouldn’t work the horse if he wasn’t 100 percent, and he agreed.”
Hollendorfer outlined the schedule for undefeated champion Songbird, winner of all eight of her races for Delaware-based owner Rick Porter, who campaigns as Fox Hill Farms.
“We’re looking at the Delaware Handicap on the 16th (of July) and we’re looking at the Coaching Club American Oaks (at Saratoga on July 24), and we definitely want to run in the Alabama (at Saratoga on Aug. 20),” Hollendorfer said.
“So what the first race is, we don’t know yet.”
The $750,000 Delaware Handicap at a mile and a quarter is for fillies and mares, three and up; the $300,000 Oaks is at 1 1/8 miles; and the $600,000 Alabama will be decided at a mile and a quarter. Each is a Grade I race.
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