Eclipse Champion Female Sprinter of 2017 Unique Bella has been firing bullets for next Saturday's Grade II, $200,000 Santa Maria Stakes at 1 1/16 miles since winning the Grade I La Brea Stakes last Dec. 26, a victory that no doubt caught the eye of Eclipse Award voters, enabling the gray daughter of Tapit to clinch honors.
“We think the La Brea must have had a lot to do with it,” said Jerry Hollendorfer, who trains Unique Bella for the Don Alberto Stable. “She's coming up to the Santa Maria really well.”
Unique Bella has had two bullet works since winning the La Brea, going five furlongs in the identical time of 59 flat on Jan. 15 and again on Jan. 21. Mike Smith, who has ridden her in all of her eight career starts, winning six, once again will be aboard.
Also set for the Santa Maria is Reddam Racing's La Canada winner Mopotism for trainer Doug O'Neill. Mario Gutierrez rides.
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