You Faces Two Other Grade I Winners in Starlet
Updated: Sunday, December 16, 2001 8:37 PM
From Hollywood Park
Posted: Saturday, December 15, 2001 9:32 AM
You, whose disappointing effort as the odds-on favorite in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies serves as one of the few minuses on trainer Bobby Frankel's resume this year, will be out to rebound against two other Grade I winners Sunday in Hollywood Park's Grade I, $365,000 Hollywood Starlet for 2-year-old fillies.
The daughter of You and I, victorious by over six lengths in Belmont Park's Grade I Frizette Stakes prior to finishing fourth in the Breeders' Cup event, faces no easy task in the 21st running of the mile-and-one-sixteenth Starlet.
Her opposition in a field of five includes trainer Bob Baffert's Habibti, who also faltered in the Breeders' Cup at Belmont Park after taking the Grade I Del Mar Debutante, and unbeaten Tali'sluckybusride, winner of the Grade I Oak Leaf Stakes at Santa Anita.
Frankel, who entered the weekend with 48 stakes victories in 2001 including 35 in graded races, believes You would deserve Eclipse Award consideration as champion 2-year-old filly should she regain her dominant posture in the Starlet.
"If she wins by five, she deserves the Eclipse," said Frankel, who is at a loss to explain her Breeders' Cup finish of 5 1/2 lengths behind Tempera, whom Habibti soundly defeated in the Del Mar Debutant.
"I've tried to analyze the Breeders' Cup," said Frankel, "and the only excuse I can give her is that she had a fever after the race, and maybe she didn't like being behind horses. She's doing well now. We'll try to keep her in the clear."
Frankel has named Jerry Bailey, the nation's money-leading rider, to replace Edgar Prado aboard the bay filly who has earned $468,840 for Edmund A. Gann from three wins and a second in five starts.
Baffert thinks he knows why Habibti wasn't at her best in the Oct. 27 Breeders' Cup race. The chestnut filly, owned by The Thoroughbred Corp., was scratched from the Sept. 30 Oak Leaf Stakes because of illness.
"The illness really knocked her out and she lost weight," said Baffert, who tried to play catch-up in getting the daughter of Tabasco Cat ready for the Breeders' Cup. Baffert said Habibti looks like "her old self" in preparation for the Starlet. Victor Espinoza rides the filly whose two wins in three starts have earned $178,200.
Tali'sluckybusride, a $23,000 yearling purchase by Ron and Susie Anson, has won both her starts including the one-mile Oak Leaf by 4 1/2 lengths at odds of 15-1. The Washington-bred's earnings are $178,200.
Jose Valdivia Jr. has the mount for trainer Alfredo Marquez. "She's doing excellent," Marquez said of the bay filly named after a dog Susie Anson rescued from the street after being evicted from a bus. "We'll find out how good she is in the Starlet," said Marquez.
The complete field for the Hollywood Starlet, in post position order with jockeys (all entrants carry 120 pounds): Talkeetna, Garrett Gomez; Renaissance Woman, Alex Solis; You, Jerry Bailey; Habibti, Victor Espinoza, and Tali'sluckybusride, Jose Valdivia Jr.
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