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‘Tails’ of two trainers

Free DRF Past Performances for the Race of the Day Photo:

A field of twelve 3-year-old and up maiden fillies will go 6 furlongs in a $84,000 special weight race for the lion’s share of the $84,000 purse and the winner of the DRF feature Race of the Day at Oaklawn.

There are a couple of backstories related to the trainers of #6 Wings of an Angel and #12 Goldena that may be interesting to some.

Larry Jones still looking for the end of the racetrack

Wings of an Angel will open as the second choice in the field at 4-1 for longtime Oaklawn Park trainer Larry Jones who has had great success at the Hot Springs oval throughout his 40 plus year career.

But as it goes in racing, Jones has experienced his share of ups and downs which have given him cause for pause on a couple of occasions.

More recently, in a 2020 morning training mishap at Ellis Park involving a 2-year-old half-brother to 2008 Kentucky Oaks winner Proud Spell left Jones unsaddled and in the dirt nine fractured ribs, a broken collarbone and broken vertebra in his back.

And as serious as that accident was last year, it was perhaps the tragic breakdown of the 3-year-old filly Eight Belles in the 2008 Kentucky Derby, the day after Proud Spell won the Kentucky Oaks, that left Jones dazed, confused, and accused of drugging Eight Belles.

But after tests proved that Eight Belles’ ran drug free in the Derby, Jones announced he would retire the following year. And so on November 7, 2009 he officially retired — for the first time.

Now he’s back at Oaklawn with Wings of an Angel. At 4, she’s a first time starter by Quality Road in today’s feature race of the day.

Hollendorfer’s travels

The other backstory is that of long-time West Coast trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who for years dominated the training standings in Northern California. Running primarily at Golden Gate Fields and the now defunct Bay Meadows, Hollendorfer was untouchable winning 37 consecutive training titles at Bay Meadows and 32 titles in succession at Golden Gate.

But in 2019, after quadruple breakdowns by Hollendorfer trained horses training and racing at Santa Anita, the Stronach Group, owners of Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields, called it quits with Hollendorfer and banned him from the grounds of their facilities.

Forced to go a long way from home, for the 2019-2021 racing seasons, Hollendorfer has raced a string of horses at Monmouth Park in New Jersey with success.

But all is not lost for Hollendorfer on the California circuit. Last year he was able to run horses at Del Mar during their 2021 and 2022 season, which closed on December 4.

For now, most of the horses and trainers have made the move slightly North to Santa Anita for their 2021-2022 meet which opened the day after Christmas and will close on June 19, 2022.

Until then, Hollendorfer will have to run where he can while he waits to be closer to home at Del Mar when they reopen later this year.

In today’s Race of the Day, Hollendorfer has Goldena at 6-1.

She’s an unraced 4-year-old daughter of Medaglio d’Oro out of an unraced dam who has produced three winners from four foals. She’ll break from the widest post in the 12 horse field carrying a rider who is winning with 21% of his mounts. And she’ll race for a trainer who is sending out winners at a 15% clip.

Individually, those are big numbers.

But when Hollendorfer has given the leg up to Santana in two races at the meet, they are crushing it with a 50% win rate and a $2.40 ROI.

Post time for the Race of the Day is scheduled for 4:19 PM ET and will go as race 7 on the 8 race card at Oaklawn.

Free DRF Formulator past performances

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