Competitive fields shaping up for Starlet, Bayakoa

The Grade 1, $500,000 Hollywood Starlet, which will be run Saturday at 1 1/16 miles over Hollywood Park's Cushion Track, could have as many as seven participants.

Executiveprivilege, a two-time Grade 1 winner for trainer by Bob Baffert, lost for the first time in six starts when defeated by Beholder in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies on November 2 at Santa Anita Park

For the Starlet, Mike Smith will replace Rafael Bejarano, who had ridden the First Samurai filly in each of her previous starts. Smith worked Executiveprivilege a half-mile in :47 on November 20 at Santa Anita. The Hall of Famer rode Game on Dude to victory for Baffert in Saturday's Grade 3 Native Diver Stakes.

Adding intrigue to the race is Blonde Fog, also conditioned by Baffert. The daughter of Divine Park made quite an impression in her debut, winning by 12 1/2 lengths against maiden special weights at the Starlet distance.

Other likely entrants are Midnight Ballet, who captured the 1 1/16-mile Sharp Cat Stakes on November 11 in her Cushion Track debut for trainer Tom Proctor; Renee's Titan, a Doug O'Neill pupil who was second to Midnight Ballet in the same race; and Scarlet Strike, whom conditioner Jerry Hollendorfer saddled for a second-place run behind Executiveprivilege in the Grade 1 Chandalier Stakes and a third-place finish in the Sharp Cat most recently.

Possibles for the Starlet include Pure Fun and Secret Motive, both of whom would have to be supplemented. Late nominations are accepted until entries are taken Wednesday.

The Starlet will share the stakes spotlight on Saturday with the Grade 2, $200,000 Bayakoa Stakes, which is expected to draw a field of five. The 1 1/16-mile contest is for for fillies and mares, three-year-olds & up.

Canadian champion Inglorious, a five-time stakes winner in Canada who beat the boys in that country's classic Queen's Plate, will bring a large bankroll of $1,378,751 with her to Southern California. The four-year-old daughter of Hennessy last raced in July, when she was third in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly Stakes at Woodbine. Smith is scheduled to be aboard for trainer Josie Carroll.

Willa B Awesome will try to get back on the winning track in the Bayakoa after going winless in four starts since taking the Melair Stakes on April 28, California Gold Rush Day. The bargain $18,000 Barretts Juvenile purchase won the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks and Grade 3 Santa Ysabel earlier in the year. Regular rider Martin Pedroza has the call aboard the Walther Solis-trained daughter of Awesome Gambler.

Hollendorfer's assistant trainer Dan Ward is bullish about the Bayakoa chances of Lady of Fifty, who will be piloted by Martin Garcia. The gray daughter of After Market put it all together in an upset victory over Awesomundo in the recent Palm Springs Handicap at Santa Anita Park. She's trained sensationally for the Bayakoa, topped by a bullet three-quarter work in 1:13 over the Cushion Track on November 29. Hollendorfer also nominated Halo Dolly, but she's unlikely to start.

Other probables for the Bayakoa are Charm the Maker, a close second in the 2011 Hollywood Starlet for trainer Ron McAnally, and Open Water, third in both the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks over the turf on August 18 and the Grade 1 Las Virgenes on Santa Anita's dirt in early March.

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