Rolly Polly to Be Challenged by This Well-Rounded Field
Since coming to this country more than a year ago, Rolly Polly hasn’t lost in five sprints on the turf.
Owned by the Wildenstein Stable and trained by Bobby Frankel, the Irish-bred filly hasn’t exactly been dominant in those victories.
Her 1 1/2-length win in the Safely Kept Handicap in her U.S. debut Nov. 24, 2001 was her most decisive victory. Her four other wins have come by less than a length. Two were by a nose.
Still, Rolly Polly continues to get the job done and she will be favored to close out 2002 with a win in the $100,000 Monrovia Handicap at about 6 1/2 furlongs.
A Grade III, the Monrovia drew 11 other fillies and mares -- after also-eligibles Nanogram and Southern House were scratched -- including I’m The Business, who was a nose behind Rolly Polly in the Sen. Ken Maddy Handicap on this course in October.
Rolly Polly, a 4-year-old daughter of Mukaddamah, isn’t the only member of the Monrovia field who is unbeaten in three races on the Santa Anita turf.
Lil Sister Stitch, a 5-year-old Seattle Bound mare, also is perfect and two of her wins have come at today’s distance. Laffit Pincay Jr., who scored his only Monrovia win with Little Happiness in 1978, will ride for trainer Doug O’Neill.
In addition to Rolly Polly, three others in the field come off wins.
Pina Colada won a minor stake at Turf Paradise, Onslaught won over a sloppy track at Golden Gate Fields and Miss Puzzle won her first U.S. start last month.
Race of the day: Santa Anita’s fifth, a $70,000 allowance at a mile on the turf, attracted a quality field of 11, including I Love Silver, Fighting Falcon, Sumitas and Surprise Halo.
Who’s hot: Patrick Valenzuela. The jockey finished the first four days of the Santa Anita meet with a triple Sunday, winning with favorites Maria’s Mirage, Red Vintage and A Shortt Tour.
Who’s not: Pietro Fede. The Florida-based trainer is four for 108 in 2002.
Exotically speaking: A pick four using Pennysenyen, Heaven’s Treat and Bastion in the sixth, singling Himalayan in the seventh, Rolly Polly, I’m The Business, Lil Sister Stich and Les Yeux Mauves in the eighth and Dam Bustn, Shark Fin Soup and Jink Williams in the ninth.
Winners: Previous day/meet total: 3/8. Money: Previous day/meet total: $11.80/$43.40. Total money bet: $70.