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Horse Racing

Unique Bella cruises to big win in Las Virgenes Stakes

Unique Bella cruises to big win in Las Virgenes Stakes

Genes and breeding matter in horse racing, and on an overcast Super Bowl Sunday at Santa Anita, Unique Bella, a royally-bred 3-year-old filly, ran away to an 8 3/4-length victory in the Grade II $196,000 Las Virgenes Stakes under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith.

“It’s crazy how talented she is,” Smith said.

Unique Bella has won three of her four races by a combined 25½ lengths. She is a daughter of Tapit, North America’s No. 1 sire with a $300,000 breeding fee. Her mother is Unrivaled Belle, winner of the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Distaff.

Her connections, Smith and Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, experienced this kind of excitement in the same race last year...

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