Turbulent Descent Shakes Loose in Starlet
Undefeated Turbulent Descent passed her first distance test with relative ease when she took command in the stretch and held sway to win the $409,250 Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) (VIDEO) by 1 1/4 lengths Dec. 11 at Hollywood Park.
Turbulent Descent is likely done for the year, Puype said, with her next logical target the Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita Feb. 5. That would be the Florida-bred bay filly's first race on dirt.
All of her races so far have come at Hollywood, beginning with a six-furlong maiden event during the Oak Tree meet Oct. 3 that she won by three-quarters of length. She came back in the seven-furlong Moccasin Stakes Nov. 21, which she won handily by 1 1/2 lengths as the odds-on choice.
“I was never worried about this race," Puype said. "I never thought for a second she wouldn’t handle two turns. She’s just a really good filly and she’s got a great promising future ahead of her.
Nina Fever showed the way through solid splits of :23.55, :47.14, and 1:12.13 before May Day Rose, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, cut into her one-length advantage and soon took the lead. Turbulent Descent was about three lengths behind in fourth along the inside as they made their way into the final turn.
"I wasn’t going to take any chances and I would have hit her, but it was not needed," said Flores, who previously won the Starlet in 2006 with Romance Is Diane. "I just hand rode her all the way out. I just showed her the whip. It was a little more like a test today, but she won just the same. I am a little excited and a little relieved. I’m excited because I can tell what kind of horse she is. The relief is she handled the two turns well.”
Valenzuela said Big Tiz fought him around the first turn.
"She would have had a little more left at the end if I could have gotten her to relax that first part," he said. "She ran a great race. The filly that beat me is a real nice filly, but I think we can turn the tables on her.”
Tell a Kelly came seemingly from nowhere to get third by three parts of a length after languishing in last for much of the journey. May Day Rose held on for fourth, 3 1/4 lengths behind the winner.
Under equal weights of 120 pounds, she paid $4.20, $3.20, and $2.10 and topped a healthy $98 exacta. Big Tiz, who ran third as the favorite in the Sharp Cat at Hollywood Nov. 7, returned $17.60 and $5.40. Darley Debutante (gr. I) winner Tell a Kelly, improving off a seventh-place effort in the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) in her last start, was $2.60 to show.
Earlier in the day, Cost of Freedom set a Cushion Track record, rolling to an easy victory in the $71,706 Miles Tyson Stakes (VIDEO) .
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