Who Should Be Feared in The Starlet?

The Starlet (Grade 1) (KYO)- $300.000 Purse
LA- For Fillies Two Years Old
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Dirt
December 9, 2017

A couple of good races this weekend at LA, with one of them being this 15th running of the Starlet, a race once run at the former HOL, that was relocated here to LA in 2014. Since that move, Mb Stables has been the dominant trainer of the race, winning the last two races. Last year, he won with Snow Peak. Mb Stables raced Snow Peak pretty aggressively, knowing that he needed to maximize her early career given concerns about her conformation. The Starlet win would be the final victory of her career. Mb’s 2015 winner, Jewel In the Sand, who is still active, would never win another stake, as of press time. Going back further in time, we see Mrs Bombastic’s name on the past winner list, doing so in 2009 as an 11/1 longshot. Therefore, it can be boom or bust for the race winner, and now its time to see who will add their name to the list. We have nine going to the gate.

#1- Levi Broom (Mb Stables, ridden by I Ortiz Jr)- Last month, Levi Broom went to the BC Juvenile Fillies with a record that even would have impressed Snow Peak, going a perfect five for five. That included big wins at beautiful Saratoga Race Course for both the Schuylerville and the Spinaway, before extending out to a mile without problem and winning the Grade 1 Frizette at BEL. Then came the BC, and she was not her best there while being the post-time favorite. She’ll see several of those again, but they are those who mostly finished around the same the spot at the end. Levi Broom is certainly a contender in this race, and should be one of the favorites.

#2- Nice Az (Aer Stables, ridden by J Alvarado)- This King Cobra filly has won two out of six in her career thus far, but the most impressive result on her resume is her third place finish in the Grade 1 Frizette. It was a result that got her to the BC Juvenile Fillies, a race in which she would press the pace a bit but have no response in the stretch. I am not completely convinced that she wants to keep stretching out her distance, but if she does, it might require a tactical adjustment.

#3- Learning Curve (Allinthegate, ridden by D Van Dyke)- One of the three in this field that did not participate in the BC. While many of her rivals were at DMR that day, just a few days prior to that, Learning Curve was at TUP, and winning an allowance. Looking at her works and nothing, this would seem to be way over her head. But in that race at TUP, she proved that she does her best work on race day, and not in the morning. You have to like a filly that steps up, and that makes her capable of doing that here. She’s still a longshot, but she’s not out of her league.

#4- Free Jones (Mb Stables, ridden by J R Leparoux)- When Mb Stables makes a purchase like this, you know he sees something. To this point, Free Jones has been decent in the level she’s competed at, but nothing like where she is today. Mb purchased her not even a week ago, for $50.000, and immediately entered her into this race. That will certainly get your attention. Just will be racing on just two weeks rest, so she still might need a race before she does what Mb Stables is hoping for.

#5- Rainy Day Woman (John Henry, ridden by P Husbands)- This filly has spent about half of her career racing up north in ON-bred stakes. Her last start in such a race saw her pick a win in the South Ocean Stakes at WO last month. This will be her first attempt at a graded stake and she may be ready to shine on the field, and bring the rain to everyone else. At the South Ocean, she ran a strong 93 SRF, a figure that may be a little low given the time. Recent long works have only been on the grass, but if those have privately been translating well to the main track, she may be able to pull this off.

#6- Confidently In Love (Mb Stables, ridden by R Bejarano)- The final entry from Mb Stables only has four starts to her name, but has already run in the BC Juvenile Fillies. You have to love how she confidently broke her maiden while running in the Grade 1 Debutante in September, which was followed up by winning the Grade 1 Alcibiades at KEE. Stablemate Levi Broom is the only other one in the field that can boast that they have two Grade 1 wins already. In the BC, she was on the lead early before dropping out way out of it late. You have to expect that the tactical approach will be a lot different here.

#7- Amen Sista (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by J R Velazquez)- This is a filly that will have my rooting interest throughout the KYO chase, so hopefully that will not be a jinx for her. She is out of Clutch Situation, which is not just a horse that I happened to own at one time, she was consistently one of my favorite horses to race when I did. D J C Racing Stables took her to the next level, and has now turned her into the proud dam of the talented Amen Sista. She still just has a maiden win to her credit, but ran very well with a pair of thirds in the Spinaway and Alcibiades, before running a competitive sixth at the BC Juvenile Fillies.

#8- Fear The Greatness (First Class Stables, ridden by F Pennington)- Last month, Fear The Greatness ran against the greatest in her division, and ended up with a third place finish. That’s the best result of any in this field that also ran in the BC Juvenile Fillies. The Fear The Feathers filly entered that race on a three-race winning streak that also included the Grade 2 Pocahontas. That effort earned her a 96 SRF, which is the highest any of these have attained when on the main track. Look for her to run a big one here.

#9- Quiver Pond (Estero Farms, ridden by R J Albarado)- Like Fear The Greatness, Quiver Pond also ran third in the BC, but she did hers in the Juvenile Fillies Turf. She was doing great on the grass, winning the Bolton Landing at SAR, then the Grade 1 Natalma at WO in September, before running well in the BC. However, the KYO, and the best purse monies are not on the grass, so the trainer wants to see where she stacks up here on the main track, and this is a great spot to do it. Work times give me the impression that she’ll be fine.

Prediction: 1-8-6-5

— NS

Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES

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