Friday, December 09, 2011

The Grade 1 $402,000 Hollywood Starlet

The Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet is the big race of the Hollywood Park season for two-year-old fillies. Weemissfrankie, who ran 3rd in Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, is going to be the heavy favorite in the field of six. Here is the analysis:

#1 Weemissfrankie- Despite running third in the Juvenile Fillies, she still was nine lengths adrift of My Miss Aurelia, the winner. Granted, My Miss Aurelia might just have been the most impressive winner of BC weekend, but that is still a large margin to lose by. Rafael Bejarano has the riding assignment.

#2 Charm The Maker- Won the ungraded Sharp Cat over this Hollywood surface on November 13, defeating two of her rivals in this field. She is a daughter of 2003 Belmont winner, Empire Maker. Giant's Causeway is also present on the Dam side of the lineage. In a word, this horse is well-bred. She did lose to Weemissfrankie in the Grade 1 Oak Leaf over the dirt at Santa Anita, but this could be a different situation here.

#3 Lady Pecan- Her only win came at Woodbine at 6 1/2 furlongs. She finished 8th in the Grade 1 Spinaway at Saratoga and came to Southern California immediately afterward and has finished 4th in two tries in the Golden State. She has yet to hit the board since the trainer switch to Bob Baffert, but Baffert is among the best, so how long can that trend really be expected to continue?

#4 Killer Graces- 2nd to #2 in the Sharp Cat and finished behind #1 and #6 in the Del Mar Debutante, where she was 5th, but only three lengths behind the winner. She joins #2 as the only ones in this race with wins over the Cushion track at Hollywood. She scored in the Cinderella and Landaluce in the spring there. Joe Talamo was up for those wins and the 2nd in the Sharp Cat.

#5 Mi Vida- Still a maiden after four starts and has yet to even hit the board. I believe this is what is referred to as "field filler".

#6 Self Preservation- 4th in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. In fact, she has not won since coming to North America following a win in a race at Tipperary in Ireland. She ran 2nd to #1 in the Del Mar Debutante at 25-1, but really has done nothing to show that she is capable of hanging in with the best of this bunch.


Remember, They Are Off accepts no responsibility for any wagers placed in conjunction with these selections. They are merely suggestions. Tune in again next week for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!

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