Executiveprivilege will try for her third Grade 1 win of 2012 when she takes on seven other two-year-old fillies in the $500,000 Hollywood Starlet on Saturday at Hollywood Park.
Scheduled for 1 1/16 miles over the Cushion Track, the Starlet is the richer of two graded stakes to be offered on the next-to-last Saturday of the autumn meet. Older fillies and mares will get together in the Grade 2, $200,000 Bayakoa, which will also be run at 1 1/16 miles over the main Cushion Track.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, Executiveprivilege suffered her first defeat in six races when second, one length behind Beholder, in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies on November 2. If successful Saturday, the bay daughter of First Samurai would become the lone two-year-old filly in the country with three Grade 1 wins having already already captured the Del Mar Debutante and Chandelier Stakes.
Executiveprivilege could also provide Baffert with his third Starlet victory, following Excellent Meeting (1998) and Habibti (2001).
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who replaced Rafael Bejarano on Game On Dude for last weekend's victory in the Grade 3 Native Diver Stakes, will take over on Executiveprivilege as the filly tries to emulate Killer Graces, who won both the Landaluce and Starlet in 2011.
Baffert will also be represented in the Starlet by impressive first out winner Blonde Fog. The Divine Park filly won by 12 1/2 lengths at the Starlet distance on October 28 at Santa Anita. The bay lass will be taking a huge step up in class with Martin Garcia retaining the mount.
Among those opposing the Baffert duo is Miss Empire, who returns to Cushion Track for trainer Peter Miller after trailing in the Grade 3 Miesque on turf last month. The daughter of Empire Maker broke her maiden in the Cinderella by 4 3/4 lengths in June and will have Keven Krigger, who was aboard for that score, back in the irons.
Midnight Ballet, the upset winner of the November 11 Sharp Cat going the Starlet distance in her first Cushion Track attempt, will be seeking her third win in four races on Saturday. The Tom Proctor-trained Midnight Lute filly was making her stakes bow in that race and gets the services of Julien Leparoux in her second black-type attempt.
Renee's Titan, Scarlet Strike and Rhodium were the respective second, third and fourth-place runners in the Sharp Cat and will line back up on Saturday against Midnight Ballet. Renee's Titan will be trying for her second victory at Hollywood after breaking her maiden over the track in late June, while Scarlet Strike is seeking to the turn the tables on both Midnight Ballet and Executiveprivilege after finishing second to the latter in the Chandelier two back. Rhodium just broke her maiden prior to the Sharp Cat.
Supplemented to the Starlet at a cost of $10,000 -- with an additional $10,000 to start -- Pure Fun ships to California for trainer Ken McPeek. The Pure Prize filly will be making her synthetic track debut following a 9 1/4-length romp in an optional claiming event at Churchill Downs on November 24. Garret Gomez has the call.
Earlier on Saturday's card, Ontario-bred Inglorious will make her California debut against seven opponents in the Bayakoa.
Trained by Josie Carroll, the four-year-old Hennessy filly is victorious in five of six races over synthetic surfaces thus far. Inglorious has been idle since finishing third in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly at Woodbine July 8, which was just her third start of the year. The bay's biggest win to date came against the boys in last year's Queen's Plate, the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown.
Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who won the 2010 Bayakoa with Washington Bridge, will try for another with Lady of Fifty. The After Market sophomore will be making her first start at Hollywood Park off a nice win in the Palm Springs Handicap at Santa Anita. The gray miss also captured the California Oaks over Golden Gate Fields' synthetic Tapeta to start off her 2012 campaign.
Trainer Ron McAnally will be represented by Charm the Maker as he seeks a record-tying fifth win in the race. John Shirreffs is the current record holder, establishing the mark with Zardana in 2009.
Bred and owned by McAnally and his wife, Debbie, Charm the Maker has competed on turf in her past three races, finishing third in the Grade 2 Autumn Miss (formerly Harold C. Ramser Sr.), second in the Unzip and fourth in the Grade 3 Providencia. The Empire Maker filly's only stakes win to date came in last year's Sharp Cat over track and distance.
Fellow three-year-old Willa B Awesome does not have that problem as the Awesome Gambler miss stretches out from 7 1/2 furlongs after finishing third in the Cat's Cradle Handicap on November 18. The Walther Solis pupil, a four-time stakes victress, captured the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks in March and followed up with a nose score in the Melair going nine furlongs on the Cushion Track.
Class Included will be making her synthetic debut for trainer Jim Penney after suffering her first non-top two finish when seventh of eight in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic on November 2 at Santa Anita. The Include filly was a winner of four consecutive stakes at Emerald Downs and Hastings Park prior to her loss in the Ladies' Classic.
The Bayakoa field is completed by Open Water, who returns to a synthetic surface after four consecutive races on turf; Changethechannel, who will be making her stakes debut; and Madera Castana, who will be trying to end a losing streak that is more than two-years old.