How to bet the L.A. Woman with Unique Bella

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TwinSpires Staff

October 7th, 2017


Sunday's feature at Santa Anita is the L.A. Woman (G3) run at 6 1/2 furlongs over the main track. The sprint for fillies and mares is headlined by the return of star filly #5 Unique Bella for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.
The $400,000 daughter of Tapit brings a four-race win streak into her first start since early March when she rattled off her third straight dominating performance against graded stakes competition in the Santa Ysabel (G3) at a mile and a sixteenth.
Not only has the Don Alberto Stable runner crushed four straight groups since a poor start led to a runner-up effort on debut last June at five furlongs, but she has been brilliant in the mornings leading up to her return.
Since arriving at Santa Anita from Del Mar the gray gal has recorded five consecutive bullet drills, including a five-furlong work in :59 flat on September 20, and most recently a four-furlong move in :45.60 on October 4. As impressive is the times is the ease that she has done it with. She seems to have recovered incredibly well from a shin injury that sidelined her for the past seven months.
The early favorite for next month's Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) is the prohibitive 1-5-morning line favorite in the L.A. Woman and represents by far the likeliest winner at what has been an extremely challenging start to the Autumn Meeting at Santa Anita.
Unique Bella drew the 5-hole, which spots her just outside of likely pacesetter #4 Princess Karen. Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith should be able to sit a dream trip right off of the recent winner of the Beverly Lewis at Los Alamitos. Smith should be able to take command on the turn and put this group away with relative ease in the lane.
I have no interest in trying to beat Unique Bella on Sunday, so I will try to value underneath to make the exotics worthwhile.
I picked Rockingham Ranch's #3 Bad Ju Ju for second in my Daily Selections on, but the 5-3 cold exacta will be way too short for me to consider, so I will have to be more creative.
#7 Lunar Empress has virtually no shot to compete with the likes of Unique Bella, but there is some reason to think she can earn a minor share. The daughter of Malibu Moon returned to the races off of a four and a half month layoff in the C.E.R.F. Stakes at Del Mar where she was an even fifth.
The four-year-old Kentucky-bred will need to move forward off of that try to finish in the money, but I think it is feasible. She has hit the board in four of five efforts at Santa Anita and probably needed that race off the bench. She draws favorably to the outside, which should allow Flavian Prat to sit a few lengths off of Unique Bella and do her best at trying to follow her to the wire. At 15-1 on the line I will make her my exotic key.
Here is how I will wager on the LA Woman:
$20 Exacta 5-7 = $20
$5 Trifecta Key 5 with 3+7 = $10
$2 Trifecta 5 with 7 with 2+3+4+6 = $8
$2 Trifecta 5 with 2+3+4+6 with 7 = $8
Total Budget = $46

For those of you not interested in wagering on a horse at an extremely short price off the layoff there is always the option of hoping that Unique Bella finishes fourth or worse. There will be a ton of money to Show on the big favorite, and while I do not see her finishing off the board, if she does the payouts will be handsome. All you have to do is think back to the San Diego H. (G2) to justify wagering a few bucks on each horse and hoping something shocking occurs.
Good luck at the windows and enjoy your holiday weekend!

(Benoit Photos)