Pussycat Doll Takes Las Virgenes Leap

Pussycat Doll Takes Las Virgenes Leap
Photo: Benoit
Santa Ynez winner Sharp Lisa heads the field in Saturday's Las Virgenes.
(from Santa Anita notes)
The jury may still be out on Real Quiet as a sire, but as far as Bob Baffert is concerned, when it comes to the fast-developing Pussycat Doll, the verdict is nearly in.

Pussycat Doll, a 3-year-old daughter of 1998 Kentucky Derby winner Real Quiet out of the stakes-winning Hookedonthefeelin, is scheduled to face six rivals in Saturday's $250,000 Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies over one mile at Santa Anita Park.

Pussycat Doll was a game second by 2 1/2 lengths to 2004 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies champion Sweet Catomine in the Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III) on Jan. 16 after breaking her maiden in handy fashion over a sloppy track on Dec. 31.

"He didn't get much of a chance," Baffert said of Real Quiet's stallion status. "This is the best mare that was ever bred to him. She's a grade I winner and Pussycat Doll moves like her mother."

Pussycat Doll has a 1-1-1 record from four starts with earnings of $54,520 for owner Mike Pegram, who also raced Real Quiet.

She'll take on a field headed by Sharp Lisa, who notched her first graded stakes win in the seven-furlong Santa Ynez Breeders' Cup (gr. II) at Santa Anita on Jan. 17 and has her best shot to win a grade I in the Las Virgenes.

She rallied nicely from fifth place in the final furlong of the Santa Ynez to win by 1 1/2 lengths at odds of 9-10.

Sharp Lisa ran second to Splendid Blended in the Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) to close out her 2-year-old campaign in December for trainer Doug O'Neill and was also second in the Alcibiades (gr. II) at Keeneland last fall. She finished sixth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). Corey Nakatani takes over the riding duties from Tyler Baze.

Also in the Las Vigenes is Classic Elegance, last year's Schuylerville Stakes (gr. II) winner at Saratoga for trainer D. Wayne Lukas and owners Bob and Beverly Lewis. She has not raced since being pulled up in the Darley Alcibiades (gr. II) in October.

Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I), 3-year-old fillies, one mile
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Charming Colleen (CA), 115, Patrick A. Valenzuela
2. Pussycat Doll (KY), 115, Rene R. Douglas
3. On London Time (KY), 115, Alex O. Solis
4. Sharp Lisa (KY), 119, Corey S. Nakatani
5. Classic Elegance (KY), 119, Garrett K. Gomez
6. Memorette (CA), 119, Kent J. Desormeaux
7. Hot Attraction (KY), 115, Victor Espinoza

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