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Nine Fillies Step-It-Up for Kentucky Oaks Points in Starlet Stakes

Nine Fillies Step-It-Up for Kentucky Oaks Points in Starlet Stakes: The 41st running of the Starlet Stakes is set for Saturday, December 12, 2015 at “Los Al” racecourse in Los Alamitos, California. It’s a (GI) race for 2 year-old fillies running 1 1/16 miles on the dirt for the prize of $300,000.

Take Charge Brandi

Willis D. Horton’s Take Charge Brandi and jockey Victor Espinoza won the Grade I $350,000 Starlet Stakes Saturday, December 13, 2014 at Los Alamitos Race Course, Cypress, CA. Photo: Benoit

This race was originally called the Hollywood Starlet Stakes and was run at Betfair Hollywood Park in Inglewood, California starting in 1974. The race was run on the dirt until 2006, when they changed to the synthetic. It’s back to the dirt for the second year running at Los Al. The Starlet Stakes is the final big race of the year for 2 year-old fillies and is often the next stepping-stone for those exiting the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies race. It also offers up points on the Road to the 2016 Kentucky Oaks with 10-4-2-1 rewarded to the top four finishers.

In 2003, the filly Hollywood Story, who was a Dynaformer baby, was the first-ever maiden to win the race in its history and how befitting of a name. She was trained by John Sherriffs and after starting on August 3, 2003 in a Maiden Special Weight race at Del Mar, finishing 2nd she went on to race in the (G1) Del Mar Debutante Stakes finishing 2nd. It was on her fifth try in this race that she broke her maiden. Hollywood Story ran in 26 (G1-G3) races ending her career with a race record of 27:4:6:6. What a shining star.

Last year this race was won by D. Wayne Lukas and the filly Take Charge Brandi, who was retired this year, in the time of 1:42.18. Lukas holds the record for wins in this race with 8 total.

The 2015 Starlet Stakes is the eighth of nine races to be preceded by the one-mile King Glorious for sired or bred California 2-year-olds. The post time is set for 4:00 p.m., PST. We also have a Los Alamitos hat giveaway while supplies last with one paid admission. So get out this Saturday and head over to lovely Los Al.

I may regret this but I’ll be taking a raincheck on both of the Scat Daddy fillies in this race. Bob Bafferts Pretty and Cool is one of my favorites; however, I really like her better sprinting. She could surprise me here, but at the price I figure she will go off at, I’m taking a stand against and going with his other filly Treasuring.

Treasuring is a full-sister to the filly Streaming who won this race two years ago at Hollywood Park for the same connections. She is out of the sire Smart Strike and the Storm Cat mare Teeming. Can Treasuring follow in her big sister’s footsteps? Treasuring was one of my “2-year-olds to watch” this summer for our @Ladyandthetrack list. She hasn’t disappointed me yet.

Treasuring was last seen running up the back of Lucky Folie in the Desi Arnaz at Del Mar in early November for 2nd. She made a rail bid in that race from the #2 hole. Prior she won a 50K maiden on this track, which is my angle here, from the #1 hole, which she’s gotten twice now, and won by 7 ¼ lengths. I’m going with they’ll be sending her from the rail & she def can show some speed. Others in this race have better speed figures but I’m thinking she’ll run better than expected. Victor Espinoza gets the call again. *(He won this race last year with Take Charge Brandi so he knows the ropes). She has a race record of 4:1:1:2 and has never been off-the-board. She is my winner for this race.

Another filly I dig also exits the 7 furlong Desi Arnaz race, the Phil D’Amato trained Street Fancy. This Street Sense filly had a little hiccup at the start to finish quite willingly for third behind Lucky Follie & Treasuring. Trainer D’Amato is 25% sprint-sprint-route. Her maiden win was a sprint at 5 1/2F at Santa Anita in October. She should relish the added real-estate coming out of the sire Street Sense, who won the 2007 Kentucky Derby. It sure doesn’t hurt that rider Mike Smith stays in the irons sitting just outside of Treasuring in post #2. She looks ready to roll.

I’m going to give the Peter Eurton trained daughter of Unusual Heat a shot to steal this as well. Pacific Heat has won both of her starts by a combined 18 ¾ lengths. She is being supplemented here for $7,500 plus an additional $7,500 to start. That tells me this barn is pretty confident in this filly. Last out she showed she can rate off the pace winning the Golden State Juvenile at Del Mar October 29th. Eurton is 18% winner of last race but only 6% wins in 64 starts for first time routing. Can she go the distance? Joe Talamo stays up on this undefeated filly.

This really is a super nice field of fillies and any one of them could honestly win it. I had a really hard time tossing Pretty and Cool, Surfside Tiara and Mama’s Sugar. However, I can’t have them all (if I play the late pick 4, I may have to go with all in this race).

I’m going with a win bet on the #1 Treauring if she comes in at 5-1 or higher. I wrote this with no morning line out yet so it’s hard to garner up a wager. I’ll also most likely play an exacta box with #1, 2 & 4. Treasuring, Street Fancy & Pacific Heat. Best of luck to all of these beautiful fillies and to their connections. SAFE travels ladies.

Starlet Stakes 2015 Post Positions & Odds:
Race 8 3:58 PM
1 Treasuring 6-1 Espinoza/Baffert
2 Street Fancy 5-1 Smith/D’Amato
3 Stays in Vegas 7-2 Solis/Hollendorfer
4 Pacific Heat 3-1 Talamo/Eurton
5 Patriotic Diamond 12-1 Van Dyke/Biancone
6 Surfside Tiara 6-1 Bejarano/Hollendorfer
7 Mama’s Sugar 15-1 Lopez/Miller
8 Sutton’s Smile 10-1 Gonzalez/D’Amato
9 Pretty N Cool 5-1 Garcia/Baffert