Watch this powerhouse filly repel a challenge and win the Santa Ysabel Stakes!
The early favorite for the Kentucky Oaks — the filly counterpart to the Kentucky Derby — racked up another win over the weekend at Santa Anita, reminding racing fans one more time that she is not to be taken lightly.
The big gray Unique Bella has won four of her five career starts, including three stakes wins in a row. A Pennsylvania-bred by Tapit, the filly is owned by Don Alberto Stable, trained by Jerry Hollendorfer and piloted by Mike Smith. (The Hollendorder/Smith team is also well known for another superstar filly, last year’s champion Songbird.)
Unique Bella definitely showed her colors on Saturday, overcoming a sluggish start and pushing her way between the leaders in the first turn. Still under a hand ride, she loafed a bit into the homestretch, but with a show of the whip from Smith, she managed to repel the challenge from Grade I winner Abel Tasman, who should also be credited with running a great race.
It appears that Unique Bella will be pointed to the Santa Anita Oaks for her next start, though Hollendorfer is understandably reluctant to plan too many steps ahead. Should she do well in the Santa Anita Oaks, it is likely that we will see Unique Bella again in the Kentucky Oaks.
Many fans have expressed their desire to see Unique Bella run against the boys, with some even claiming that she is the best three-year-old of either gender on the track right now. Those fans may have to wait awhile to see if Team UB ever seeks that particular challenge.
Regardless of where she goes, we’re eager to see what Unique Bella can do next!
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