Despite for nearly year long calls by her fans and social media for Songbird to point for The Kentucky Derby or take on the colts, she didn’t. She still built up quite the resume and won an Eclipse Award for best three-year old filly.
Now trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, her trainer, has the same dilemma the following year: Does he go after the colts and Kentucky Derby with Unique Bella?
One thing the point system for The Run for the Roses has done is make it more difficult for sprinters and fillies to get in the gate the first Saturday in May. Perhaps some recent quotes from Hollendorfer and racing manager for Unique Bella’s owner offer clues as to their plans and which way they are leaning.
“I think it’s too early to say,” Fernando Diaz-Valdes, racing manager for Don Alberto Stable, told Santa Anita publicity after Unique Bella’s victory. “We’ll have to take a look at what’s happening around the country. We have to go to the next level first.”
“I’m told I should go to the Kentucky Derby when the time comes, but we’ll see.”
“I’d like to keep Unique Bella in California, just like I did with Songbird last year,” said Hollendorfer after Unique Bella’s win. “There’s enough money to run out here and run against the girls, not the boys. I think we’ll try and run here and if we’d be fortunate enough, we’d point to the Oaks.
“I really like to concentrate on the filly races. If an opportunity came to do something else we’d probably have to consider that, but I’d like to keep her against the fillies if I can.”
One thing about Hollendorfer is he does not duck anyone or anything. He’ll run where he thinks his filly is best suited. My money is on pointing for The Kentucky Oaks.