The Grade 1 HOLLYWOOD STARLET STAKES is worth a whopping $500k. For two-year-old fillies, it is a rare chance to secure a top level victory. Contested at 1 1/16 miles, the Hollywood Park race will is the ninth of 10 races on the card and will go forward at 4:35 PST.
PURE FUN broke her maiden at Kentucky Downs in her fourth start on September 15. She followed that up by finishing seventh in the Grade 3 Jessamine Stakes at Keeeneland and then second in a non-winners of two races lifetime event at the same track. She broke through with a huge win at nearly 15-1 odds when last seen as she crushed optional claiming foes by 9 1/4 lengths at Churchill Downs. Switching surfaces to dirt that day likely made the difference. Now, the McPeek trained daughter of Pure Prize will try synthetic for the first time. Garrett Gomez is listed to ride.
Peter Miller trains MISS EMPIRE who will be returning to a synthetic track for the first time since finishing third in the Grade 1 Chandelier Stakes. Since then she has won a minor stakes at Golden Gate and faded to be ninth in the Grade 3 Miesque Stakes. The daughter of Empire Maker will be reunited with Kevin Krigger who hasn’t ridden her since they finished fourth together in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante Stakes.
SCARLET STRIKE was left in the wake of Executiveprivilege in the Chandelier Stakes before finishing third as the 4/5 favorite in the Sharp Cat Stakes when last seen. The daughter of Smart Strike races for 26% winning meet trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. Look for her to come from the back of the pack under Joe Talamo.
BLONDE FOG erupted for a 12 ½ length win in her initial race on October 28. It looks like the sky is the limit for the Bob Baffert pupil, but it’s tough to say how good she really is after just a single race. Martin Garcia retains the mount on the daughter of Divine Park.
Julien Leparoux is carving out a nice living while riding 19% winners at his new Southern California base. He will ride MIDNIGHT BALLET for Thomas Procter in this race. She was squeezed at the start in her initial try with Leparoux, but won the Sharp Cat Stakes anyway at odds of 10-1. That race was at today’s track and distance.
EXECUTIVEPRIVILEGE gets to play the role of big bad wolf. The daughter of First Samurai was an undefeated dual Grade 1 winner before losing to Beholder in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. After that hiccup, Bob Baffert expects that today will be busy as usual for the classy filly. The only difference in this race is that Mike Smith will ride for the first time as Rafael Bejarano has apparently exited the good graces of this trainer. This bay filly can strike from anywhere and is the most dangerous horse in the race.
RENEE’S TITAN performed strongly to finish second in the Sharp Cat Stakes when last seen. The Doug O’Neill pupil has taken on top competition before and failed, but appears to be a better horse now than she was then. Tyler Baze, the hungriest jockey in the colony, will ride for the second time.
Rafael Bejarano lost the mount on the favorite, but catches a ride on RHODIUM. The daughter of Flashy Bull broke her maiden on the lead at Santa Anita before fading to be fourth in the Sharp Cat Stakes. Peter Miller is the trainer.
MIDNIGHT BALLET has the most upside and possesses the best chance to beat the favorite. She has won over the track and at the distance and will race third off the shelf. The pace projects to be fast and she likes to come running. I’m going to call for her to mow them down in the lane.