April 15, 2024

Unique Bella out of Kentucky Oaks contention with shin injury

Don Alberto Stable's Unique Bella and jockey Mike Smith win the Las Virgenes Stakes (G2) on Sunday, February 5, 2017, at Santa Anita Park © BENOIT PHOTO

Unique Bella, the ante-post favorite for the Kentucky Oaks (G1) for much of the winter, has reportedly been taken out of training and will miss intended engagements in both the Santa Anita Oaks (G1) and Kentucky Oaks. Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer told Daily Racing Form on Tuesday the once-beaten gray is suffering from a shin injury.

Second in her debut, Unique Bella has reeled off four straight wins since then, including the Santa Ynez (G2), Las Virgenes (G2), and Santa Ysabel (G3) at Santa Anita this season, earning BRIS Speed ratings of 93, 106, and 104. She was the even-money favorite in the lone Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (KOFW) offered earlier this year.

Hollendorfer also trains two-time champion Songbird, who would have been a heavy favorite in last year’s Kentucky Oaks but missed the race after contracting an illness following a win in the Santa Anita Oaks.

3 Comments on Unique Bella out of Kentucky Oaks contention with shin injury

  1. She should not need those other races to race in the Kentucky Oaks. If she laid out and just trained, she would be ready.

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