Nine Likely for Starlet
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
Country Star figures to be the favorite in the $250,000 Hollywood Starlet.
Country Star, possible finalist in the Eclipse balloting for leading 2-year-old filly, figures to be the favorite in the $250,000 Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) Dec. 15.

The division is all but conceded to undefeated Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) winner Indian Blessing. But the Bobby Frankel trainee Country Star, winner of the Alcibiades Stakes (gr. I) on Keeneland's Polytrack in just her second start Oct. 5, would lock up a spot on the ballot if she turns in a top effort in the Starlet.

With the addition of Maryland-based Grace and Power by trainer Steve Klesaris, a field of nine is likely for the Starlet, a 1 1/16-mile test on Cushion Track. Frankel said Country Star would work Dec. 10.

A Stonerside Stable homebred, Country Star ran second in a 1 1/16-mile maiden debut on the turf at Belmont Park Sept. 20. She returned two weeks later to take the Alcibiades at the same distance by one length. She is by Empire Maker  --Rings a Chime (by Metfield).

Another Starlet probable, Landaluce Stakes winner The Golden Noodle, drilled seven furlongs in a bullet 1:24 4/5 Dec. 9 for trainer Jack Van Berg.

Also on the work tab Dec. 9 was Spritely, an unbeaten Kentucky import who worked five furlongs in 1:01 1/5  under Garrett Gomez.

“She’s bred to go two turns, and indications are it should be no problem, but this is a big step up in class,” said trainer Todd Pletcher. The filly by Touch Gold out of the Woodman mare Wood Sprite has won twice sprinting at Turfway Park and Churchill Downs, respectively.

Grace and Power has made four starts on turf at four different tracks, winning the Holly Stakes at Meadowlands Sept. 29. In her last start Nov. 24, Grace and Power rallied to finish second in the Selima Stakes at Laurel Park. She is to be flown to Southern California Dec. 13.

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