August 2016 Issue - page 11

August 2016
Page 11
by Terry Conway
Race after race she is march-
ing her way into the ranks of
female racing royalty. Zenyatta.
Rachel Alexandra. Royal Delta.
Rags to Riches. All thoroughbred
magnets that have connected so
passionately with racing fans.
Now it's Songbird's time.
She kept her perfect record
by winning an eighth straight
race with yet another dominating
performance, taking the $200,000
Summertime Oaks (Grade-2) by
6 ½ lengths under Mike Smith
at mile and a sixteenth at Santa
Anita on June 18. Songbird rated
kindly early in the race then went
by Bellamy headed into the far
turn and looked like she was can-
tering all the way home. Typical
of her recent races, Smith geared
her down for the final furlong.
“Her cruising speed is just
amazing,” Smith noted. “She
started lengthening her stride on
the backstretch. I knew she was
fine, I just had to stay out of her
way. She did it with ease. She's
got things figured out at a young
age. It scares me to think how
good she can be."
"She was very comfortable,
with her ears up, looking for
something," added trainer Jerry
Hollendorfer. "The opportunity
presented itself to be just a little
off the pace and now we’ve
shown everyone we can do that."
In her eight victories, includ-
ing seven graded wins and four
Grade-1s, Songbird has yet to be
tested with a serious challenge
in the stretch. However, after
her victory in the Santa Anita
Oaks a low-grade fever prevented
Songbird from starting in the $1
million Kentucky Oaks where
she would have been the heavy
favorite on May 6. She missed 17
days of training before returning
to the track in early May.
The big, bay filly is a daugh-
ter of the great stallion Medaglia
d’Oro out of the Grade-2 winning
West Acre mare Ivanavinalot.
She is bred along similar lines to
Medaglia d'Oro's best performer--
2009 Horse of the Year Rachel
Alexandra-- both being out of
Forty Niner-line mares.
From her first start Songbird
has exhibited exceptional speed
and class-- traits of a classic
racehorse. Rick Porter, a native of
Wilmington, Del., races the filly in
his distinctive red and white Fox-
hill Farm colors. Seven of her races
have been in southern California—
either at Santa Anita or Del Mar.
Her one away game ended with
the same result-- a decisive victory
in the 14 Hands Winery Breeders'
Cup Juvenile Fillies at Keeneland.
Songbird’s unbeaten season and
Breeders’ Cup win clinched her the
Champion Two Year Old Female
Eclipse award.
Porter is the third generation
of his family to own automotive
dealerships dating back to 1925.
He got his start in the thorough-
bred business by claiming two
horses in 1994.
Songbird Soars
Into Saratoga
(Continued on page 17)
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