Songbird Fires Bullet, Nearing Return

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Songbird | Horsephotos

Fox Hill Farm’s two-time Eclipse Award winner Songbird (Medaglia d’Oro), unraced since her gutsy runner-up effort to Beholder (Henny Hughes) in the GI Breeders’ Cup Distaff last November, worked six furlongs in 1:11.80 (XBTV video) at Santa Anita Thursday morning beneath regular rider Mike Smith. It was the fastest of 10 moves at the distance.

“She went very well,” said trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. “The clockers got her in 1:11 and four; I got her in 1:12.10 with a [seven-furlong] gallop out of 1:25 and change, and out a mile in almost 1:39. She just shaded 39.”

Hollendorfer is in the process of deciding on a seasonal debut for Songbird, but hasn’t yet firmed up his plans. When asked if she could resume in the GI Beholder Mile at Santa Anita June 3, the conditioner said, “I don’t know. She might run in New York,” referring to the 1 1/16-mile GI Ogden Phipps S. at Belmont June 10. The Beholder carries purse money of $400,000, versus the Phipps’ $750,000.

Perfect and untested in four starts at two, capped by a front-running score in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, the $400,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga graduate ran her winning streak to 11 last year before just getting tagged on the wire in the Distaff. To date, Songbird has earned $3,712,000.

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