Songbird clocks five furlongs at Santa Anita Park

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TwinSpires Staff

July 2nd, 2016

Edited Press Release

Undefeated champion Songbird worked five furlongs over Santa Anita Park’s fast main track in 1:01 early Saturday morning as she prepares for an East Coast sojourn.

“The clockers gave her 1:01; I got her in a minute point 85, and she galloped out very nicely and very easily,” trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said, emphasizing the word “very” on both occasions.

Regular rider Mike Smith was scheduled to work Songbird, but exercise rider Edgar Rodriguez deputized for the Hall of Fame jockey. Smith was involved in a minor mishap on another worker shortly after the main track opened before sunup, around 5:10 a.m. (PT).

“Mike was going to work her, but he had a problem this morning,” Hollendorfer said. “I told him he shouldn’t work the horse if he wasn’t 100 percent, and he agreed.”

Hollendorfer outlined the schedule for undefeated champion Songbird, winner of all eight of her races for Delaware-based owner Rick Porter, who campaigns as Fox Hill Farms.

“We’re looking at the Delaware Handicap on the 16th (of July) and we’re looking at the Coaching Club American Oaks, and we definitely want to run in the Alabama,” Hollendorfer said.

“So what the first race is, we don’t know yet.”

The $750,000 Delaware Handicap sends distaffers 1 1/4 miles at Delaware Park on July 16, the $300,000 CCA Oaks is set for 1 1/8 miles at Saratoga on July 24, and the $600,000 Alabama will be decided at 1 1/4 miles at the Spa on August 20. Each is a Grade 1 race and the latter two are restricted to three-year-old fillies.

Songbird just returned to competition on June 18 with a 6 1/2-length romp in the Summertime Oaks (G2), her first race since taking the Santa Anita Oaks (G1) on April 9.

Another worker of note at Santa Anita on Saturday was Firing Line, who breezed a half-mile in :48.

The Line of David four-year-old, romping winner of the 2015 Sunland Derby (G3) and runner-up next out to American Pharoah in the Kentucky Derby (G1), hasn’t competed since being eased to finish seventh in last year’s Preakness Stakes (G1).

Trainer Simon Callaghan, who described the move as “perfect,” is pointing Firing Line toward a meeting with Horse of the Year California Chrome in the $200,000 San Diego Handicap (G2) on July 23 at Del Mar.

California Chrome, last seen romping in the March 26 Dubai World Cup (UAE-G1), also took to the track on Saturday at his Los Alamitos headquarters, clocking seven furlongs for trainer Art Sherman in 1:26.40.

Songbird photo courtesy of Benoit Photos